Publication Abstracts

Hernandez-Deckers et al. 2021, submitted

Hernandez-Deckers, D., T. Matsui, and A.M. Fridlind, 2021: Updraft dynamics and microphysics: On the added value of the cumulus thermal reference frame in simulations of aerosol-deep convection interactions. Atmos. Chem. Phys., submitted, doi:10.5194/acp-2021-586.

One fundamental question about atmospheric moist convection processes that remains debated is whether or under what conditions a relevant variability in background aerosol concentrations may have a significant dynamical impact on convective clouds and their associated precipitation. Furthermore, current climate models must parameterize both the microphysical and the cumulus convection processes, but this is usually implemented separately, whereas in nature there is a strong coupling between them. As a first step to improve our understanding of these two problems, we investigate how aerosol concentrations modify key properties of updrafts in eight large-eddy permitting regional simulations of a case study of scattered convection over Houston, Texas, in which convection is explicitly simulated and microphysical processes are parameterized. Dynamical and liquid-phase microphysical responses are investigated using two different reference frames: static cloudy-updraft grid cells versus tracked cumulus thermals. In both frameworks we observe the expected microphysical responses to higher aerosol concentrations, such as higher cloud number concentrations and lower rain number concentrations. In terms of the dynamical responses, both frameworks indicate weak impacts of varying aerosol concentrations relative to the noise between simulations over the observationally derived range of aerosol variability for this case study. On the other hand, results suggest that analysis of thermals can provide a better pathway to sample the most relevant convective processes. For instance, vertical velocity from thermals is significantly higher at upper levels than when sampled from cloudy-updraft grid points, and several microphysical variables have higher average values in the cumulus thermal framework than in the cloudy-updraft framework. In addition, the thermal analysis is seen to add rich quantitative information about the rates and covariability of microphysical processes spatially and throughout tracked thermal lifecycles, which can serve as a stronger foundation for improving subgrid-scale parameterizations. These results suggest that cumulus thermals are more realistic dynamical building blocks of cumulus convection, acting as natural cloud chambers for microphysical processes.

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BibTeX Citation

@unpublished{he02400q,
  author={Hernandez-Deckers, D. and Matsui, T. and Fridlind, A. M.},
  title={Updraft dynamics and microphysics: On the added value of the cumulus thermal reference frame in simulations of aerosol-deep convection interactions},
  year={2021},
  journal={Atmos. Chem. Phys.},
  doi={10.5194/acp-2021-586},
  note={Manuscript submitted for publication}
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - UNPB
ID  - he02400q
AU  - Hernandez-Deckers, D.
AU  - Matsui, T.
AU  - Fridlind, A. M.
PY  - 2021
TI  - Updraft dynamics and microphysics: On the added value of the cumulus thermal reference frame in simulations of aerosol-deep convection interactions
JA  - Atmos. Chem. Phys.
DO  - 10.5194/acp-2021-586
ER  -

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