Parameterization of Shortwave and Longwave Radiative Properties of Ice Clouds...

Hong, G., P. Yang, B. A. Baum, A. Heymsfield, and K. Xu (2009), Parameterization of Shortwave and Longwave Radiative Properties of Ice Clouds for Use in Climate Models, J. Climate, 22, 6287-6312, doi:10.1175/2009JCLI2844.1.

Climate modeling and prediction require that the parameterization of the radiative effects of ice clouds be as accurate as possible. The radiative properties of ice clouds are highly sensitive to the single-scattering properties of ice particles and ice cloud microphysical properties such as particle habits and size distributions. In this study, parameterizations for shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiative properties of ice clouds are developed for three existing schemes using ice cloud microphysical properties obtained from five field campaigns and broadband-averaged single-scattering properties of nonspherical ice particles as functions of the effective particle size De (defined as 1.5 times the ratio of total volume to total projected area), which include hexagonal solid columns and hollow columns, hexagonal plates, six-branch bullet rosettes, aggregates, and droxtals.

A combination of the discrete ordinates radiative transfer model and a line-by-line model is used to simulate ice cloud radiative forcing (CRF) at both the surface and the top of the atmosphere (TOA) for the three redeveloped parameterization schemes. The differences in CRF for different parameterization schemes are in the range of -5 to 5 W m-2. In general, the large differences in SW and total CRF occur for thick ice clouds, whereas the large differences in LW CRF occur for ice clouds with small ice particles (De less than 20 microns). The redeveloped parameterization schemes are then applied to the radiative transfer models used for climate models. The ice cloud optical and microphysical properties from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud product over a granule and the collocated atmospheric profiles from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) product are input into these radiative transfer models to compare the differences in CRF between the redeveloped and existing parameterization schemes. Although differences between these schemes are small in the LW CRF, the differences in the SW CRF are quite large.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)