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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-161
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-161
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 19 Aug 2019

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 19 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Investigating the sensitivity to resolving aerosol interactions in downscaling regional model experiments with WRFv3.8.1 over Europe

Vasileios Pavlidis1, Eleni Katragkou1, Andreas Prein2, Aristeidis K. Georgoulias1, Stergios Kartsios1, Prodromos Zanis1, and Theodoros Karacostas1 Vasileios Pavlidis et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. In this work we present a sensitivity study of eight WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting model) regional climate simulations for the EURO-CORDEX domain regarding aerosol implementation and their impact on European climate. The sensitivities differ in the aerosol properties (optical characteristics) and effects implemented (direct/indirect), as well as in the aerosol input data used (Tegen, MACv1, MACC, GOCART). Simulations have a resolution of 0.44° and are forced by the ERA-Interim reanalysis. A basic evaluation has been performed against ground (E-OBS) and satellite-based observational data (CMSAF Sarah, Clara). Implementation of the direct radiative effect of aerosol reduces the direct component of the incoming surface solar radiation by 20–30 % in all seasons, due to enhanced aerosol scattering. The diffuse shortwave component augments 30–40 % in summer and 5–8 % in winter, while downward shortwave radiation at the surface is attenuated by 3–8 %. The resulting aerosol radiative effect is negative and stronger in summer (−12 W/m2) than inwinter (−2 W/m2) due to a balance between the more negative direct aerosol effect (−17 to −5 W/m2) and positive changes in the cloud forcing (+5 W/m2) representing the semi-direct effect. We also show that modeling direct and indirect effects can lead to small changes in cloudiness, mainly regarding low-level clouds, and circulation anomalies in the lower and mid-troposphere, which in some cases can be statistically significant. Precipitation is not affected in a consistent pattern by the aerosol implementation and changes do not exceed ±10 %. Temperature, on the other hand, systematically decreases by −0.1 to −0.5 °C due to the direct effect with regional changes that can be up to −1.5 °C.

Vasileios Pavlidis et al.
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Short summary
Our study investigates the role of aerosols in the climate of Europe by using a computer model and exploring different aerosol options available in this model as well as different aerosol datasets. Results show that aerosols can have a considerable impact in many aspects of the climate. Aerosol reduce solar radiation and temperature at the surface. Precipitation is not particularly affected towards a specific direction. Cloudiness amount change is small. Also changes in wind pattern are seen.
Our study investigates the role of aerosols in the climate of Europe by using a computer model...
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