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Lane, DE, Somerville RCJ, Iacobellis SF.  2000.  Sensitivity of cloud and radiation parameterizations to changes in vertical resolution. Journal of Climate. 13:915-922.   10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<0915:socarp>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

The importance of vertical resolution to the parameterization of cloud-radiation processes in climate models is examined. Using a one-dimensional single-column model containing a typical suite of physical parameterizations, the authors test 12 different vertical resolutions, ranging from 16 to 60 layers. The model products are evaluated against observational data taken during three intensive observation periods from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program. The simulated values of cloud-radiation variables display a marked sensitivity to changes in vertical resolution. This sensitivity is apparent in all the model variables examined. The cloud fraction varies typically by approximately 10% over the range of resolutions tested, a substantial amount when compared to the typical observed values of about 50%. The outgoing longwave radiation typically changes by approximately 10-20 W m(-2) as resolution is varied, which is of the order of 5%-10% of the observed value. The downwelling shortwave radiation change is somewhat smaller but is still significant. Furthermore, the model results have not converged even at a resolution of 60 layers, and there are systematic differences between model results and observations.

Lane, DE, Somerville RCJ, Iacobellis S.  2001.  Evaluation of a Stochastic Radiative Transfer Model Using Ground-based Measurements. IRS 2000: Current Problems in Atmospheric Radiation : Proceedings of the International Radiation Symposium, St. Petersberg, Russia, 24-29 July 2000. ( Smith WL, Timofeyev YM, Eds.).:245-248.: A Deepak Publishing Abstract
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Lane, DE, Goris K, Somerville RCJ.  2002.  Radiative transfer through broken clouds: Observations and model validation. Journal of Climate. 15:2921-2933.   10.1175/1520-0442(2002)015<2921:rttbco>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Stochastic radiative transfer is investigated as a method of improving shortwave cloud-radiation parameterizations by incorporating the effects of statistically determined cloud-size and cloud-spacing distributions. Ground-based observations from 16 days at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program's Southern Great Plains (SGP) site are used to derive a statistical description of scattered clouds. The data are ingested into a stochastic, shortwave radiative transfer model. The typical cloud-base height of the most prevalent cloud type, fair-weather cumulus, is 1100 m. Low cloud-fraction conditions are common, with observed cloud liquid water paths between 20 and 80 g m(-2). Cloud-fraction amounts calculated using ceilometer data compare reasonably well with those reported in weather logs. The frequency distribution of cloud size can be described by a decaying exponential: the number of clouds decreases significantly with increasing cloud size. The minimum detectable cloud size is 200 m and the largest observed cloud is approximately 4 km. Using both a stochastic model and a plane-parallel model, the predicted radiation fields are compared and evaluated against an independent observational dataset. The stochastic model is sensitive to input cloud fraction and cloud field geometry. This model performs poorly when clouds are present in adjacent model layers due to random overlapping of the clouds. Typically, the models agree within 30 W m(-2) for downwelling shortwave radiation at the surface. Improvement in the observations used to calculate optical depth will be necessary to realize fully the potential of the stochastic technique.

Lane-Veron, DE, Somerville RCJ.  2004.  Stochastic theory of radiative transfer through generalized cloud fields. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 109   10.1029/2004jd004524   AbstractWebsite

[1] We present a coherent treatment, based on linear kinetic theory, of stochastic radiative transfer in an atmosphere containing clouds. A brief summary of statistical cloud radiation models is included. We explore the sensitivities inherent in the stochastic approach by using a well-known plane-parallel model developed by Fouquart and Bonnel together with our own stochastic model which generalizes earlier work of F. Malvagi, R. N. Byrne, G. C. Pomraning, and R. C. J. Somerville. In overcast conditions, in comparison to the plane parallel model, the stochastic model underestimates transmittance at small optical depths (< 7) and overestimates transmittance at large optical depths. The stochastic model is strongly sensitive to cloud optical properties, including cloud water content and cloud droplet effective radius. The extension of the stochastic approach to an atmospheric general circulation model parameterization appears to be most appropriate for cloud fraction ranging from 25 to 70%. We conclude that stochastic theory holds substantial promise as a modeling approach for calculating shortwave radiative transfer through partially cloudy fields. Unlike cloud-resolving models and Monte Carlo cloud models, stochastic cloud models do not depend on specific realizations of the cloud field. Instead, they calculate the transfer of radiation through a cloudy atmosphere whose properties are known statistically in the form of probability density functions characterizing cloud geometry and cloud optical properties. The advantage of the stochastic approach is its theoretical generality and its potential for representing a complex cloud field realistically at modest computational cost.

Le Treut, H, Somerville RCJ, Cubasch U, Ding Y, Mauritzen C, Mokssit A, Peterson T, Prather M.  2007.  Historical Overview of Climate Change. Climate change 2007 : the physical science basis : contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ( Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt K, Tignor M, Miller H, Eds.)., Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press Abstract
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Lee, WH, Somerville RCJ.  1996.  Effects of alternative cloud radiation parameterizations in a general circulation model. Annales Geophysicae-Atmospheres Hydrospheres and Space Sciences. 14:107-114.   10.1007/s00585-996-0107-6   AbstractWebsite

Using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (MCAR) general circulation model (CCM2), a suite of alternative cloud radiation parameterizations has been tested. Our methodology relies on perpetual July integrations driven by +/-2 K sea surface temperature forcing. The tested parameterizations include relative humidity based clouds and versions of schemes involving a prognostic cloud water budget. We are especially interested in testing the effect of cloud optical thickness feedbacks on global climate sensitivity. All schemes exhibit negative cloud radiation feedbacks, i.e., cloud moderates the global warming. However, these negative net cloud radiation feedbacks consist of quite different shortwave and longwave components between a scheme with interactive cloud radiative properties and several schemes with specified cloud water paths. An increase in cloud water content in the warmer climate leads to optically thicker middle- and low-level clouds and in turn negative shortwave feedbacks for the interactive radiative scheme, while a decrease in cloud amount leads to a positive shortwave feedback for the other schemes. For the longwave feedbacks, a decrease in high effective cloudiness for the schemes without interactive radiative properties leads to a negative feedback, while no distinct changes in effective high cloudiness and the resulting feedback are exhibited for the scheme with interactive radiative properties. The resulting magnitude of negative net cloud radiation feed-back is largest for the scheme with interactive radiative properties. Even though the simulated values of cloud radiative forcing for the present climate using this method differ most from the observational data, the approach shows great promise for the future.

Lee, WH, Iacobellis SF, Somerville RCJ.  1997.  Cloud radiation forcings and feedbacks: General circulation model tests and observational validation. Journal of Climate. 10:2479-2496.   10.1175/1520-0442(1997)010<2479:crfafg>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Using an atmospheric general circulation model (the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model: CCM2), the effects on climate sensitivity of several different cloud radiation parameterizations have been investigated. In addition to the original cloud radiation scheme of CCM2, four parameterizations incorporating prognostic cloud water were tested: one version with prescribed cloud radiative properties and three other versions with interactive cloud radiative properties. The authors' numerical experiments employ perpetual July integrations driven by globally constant sea surface temperature forcings of two degrees, both positive and negative. A diagnostic radiation calculation has been applied to investigate the partial contributions of high, middle, and low cloud to the total cloud radiative forcing, as well as the contributions of water vapor, temperature, and cloud to the net climate feedback. The high cloud net radiative forcing is positive, and the middle and low cloud net radiative forcings are negative. The total net cloud forcing is negative in all of the model versions. The effect of interactive cloud radiative properties on global climate sensitivity is significant. The net cloud radiative feedbacks consist of quite different shortwave and longwave components between the schemes with interactive cloud radiative properties and the schemes with specified properties. The increase in cloud water content in the warmer climate leads to optically thicker middle-and low-level clouds and in turn to negative shortwave feedbacks for the interactive radiative schemes, while the decrease in cloud amount simply produces a positive shortwave feedback for the schemes with a specified cloud water path. For the longwave feedbacks, the decrease in high effective cloudiness for the schemes without interactive radiative properties leads to a negative feedback, while for the other cases, the longwave feedback is positive. These cloud radiation parameterizations are empirically validated by using a single-column diagnostic model, together with measurements from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program and from the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Combined Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment. The inclusion of prognostic cloud water produces a notable improvement in the realism of the parameterizations, as judged by these observations. Furthermore, the observational evidence suggests that deriving cloud radiative properties from cloud water content and microphysical characteristics is a promising route to further improvement.

Leung, K, Velado M, Subramanian A, Zhang GJ, Somerville RCJ, Shen SSP.  2016.  Simulation of high-resolution precipitable water data by a stochastic model with a random trigger. Advances in Data Science and Adaptive Analysis.   10.1142/S2424922X16500066   Abstract

We use a stochastic differential equation (SDE) model with a random precipitation trigger for mass balance to simulate the 20 s temporal resolution column precipitable water vapor (PWV) data during the tropical warm pool international cloud experiment (TWP-ICE) period of January 20 to February 15, 2006 at Darwin, Australia. The trigger is determined by an exponential cumulative distribution function, the time step size in the SDE simulation, and a random precipitation indicator uniformly distributed over [0, 1]. Compared with the observed data, the simulations have similar means, extremes, skewness, kurtosis, and overall shapes of probability distribution, and are temporally well synchronized for increasing and decreasing, but have about 20% lower standard deviation. Based on a 1000-day run, the correlations between the model data and the observations in TWP-ICE period were computed in a moving time window of 25 days and show quasi-periodic variations between (−0.675, 0.697). This shows that the results are robust for the stochastic model simulation of the observed PWV data, whose fractal dimension is 1.9, while the dimension of the simulated data is also about 1.9. This agreement and numerous sensitivity experiments form a test on the feasibility of using an SDE model to simulate precipitation processes in more complex climate models.

Lipps, FB, Somervil.Rc.  1971.  Dynamics of Variable Wavelength in Finite-Amplitude Benard Convection. Physics of Fluids. 14:759-&.   10.1063/1.1693502   AbstractWebsite

The finite‐amplitude Bénard convection problem is investigated by numerical integration of the rigid‐boundary Boussinesq equations in two and three space dimensions. Solutions are obtained for a wide range of Prandtl numbers and at moderate Rayleigh numbers for which the flow is observed to approach a two‐dimensional steady state. Detailed quantitative comparisons are made with experimental data in an effort to explain the observed increase of cell wavelength with Rayleigh number and to determine the effect of changing cell size on the heat transport. The three‐dimensional model shows good evidence of being able to yield realistic values of the cell wavelength, while the two‐dimensional models yield wavelengths that are much too short. These results strongly suggest that the increase in wavelength is determined by a three‐dimensional transient process, while the convection tends to a two‐dimensional steady state. The increase in cell size is shown to be responsible for a substantial part of the discrepancy between previous theoretical‐numerical and experimental determinations of Nusselt number. It also provides a plausible explanation for the experimentally observed dependence of heat transport on Prandtl number.

Lubin, D, Chen B, Bromwich DH, Somerville RCJ, Lee WH, Hines KM.  1998.  The impact of Antarctic cloud radiative properties on a GCM climate simulation. Journal of Climate. 11:447-462.   10.1175/1520-0442(1998)011<0447:tioacr>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

A sensitivity study to evaluate the impact upon regional and hemispheric climate caused by changing the optical properties of clouds over the Antarctic continent is conducted with the NCAR Community Model version 2 (CCM2). Sensitivity runs are performed in which radiation interacts with ice clouds with particle sizes of 10 and 40 mu m rather than with the standard 10-mu m water clouds. The experiments are carried out for perpetual January conditions with the diurnal cycle considered. The effects of these cloud changes on the Antarctic radiation budget are examined by considering cloud forcing at the top of the atmosphere and net radiation at the surface. Changes of the cloud radiative properties to those of 10-mu m ice clouds over Antarctica have significant Impacts on regional climate: temperature increases throughout the Antarctic troposphere by 1 degrees-2 degrees C and total cloud fraction over Antarctica is smaller than that of the control at low levels but is larger than that of the control in the mid- to upper troposphere. As a result of Antarctic warming and changes in the north-south temperature gradient, the drainage flows at the surface as well as the meridional mass circulation are weakened. Similarly, the circumpolar trough weakens significantly by 4-8 hPa and moves northward by about 4 degrees-5 degrees latitude. This regional mass field adjustment halves the strength of the simulated surface westerly winds. As a result of indirect thermodynamic and dynamic effects, significant changes are observed in the zonal mean circulation and eddies in the middle latitudes. In fact, the simulated impacts of the Antarctic cloud radiative alteration are not confined to the Southern Hemisphere. The meridional mean mass flux, zonal wind, and latent heat release exhibit statistically significant changes in the Tropics and even extratropics of the Northern Hemisphere. The simulation with radiative properties of 40-mu m ice clouds produces colder surface temperatures over Antarctica by up to 3 degrees C compared to the control. Otherwise, the results of the 40-mu m ice cloud simulation are similar to those of the 10-mu m ice cloud simulation.