Schematic representation of the model setup developed in this paper
Schematic representation of the model setup developed in this paper, which includes two online coupled 3D large-eddy simulations (LES) domains representing the sub-tropics and the deep tropics. The two domains exchange water and energy in a way that represents the tropical overturning circulation. Credit: Dagan [2022], Figure 1
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

Understanding of the coupling between clouds and large-scale circulations is one of the greatest challenges in climate science. Specifically, very little is known about the coupling between aerosol-cloud interactions and large-scale circulation. The challenge in examining this coupling stems from a scale separation between the small scale of individual cloud, the microphysical processes involved in its development, and the large-scale of the global/tropical circulation. This scale separation makes simulating the system extremely challenging due to computational limitations.

Dagan [2022] developed a new approach for addressing aerosol-cloud interactions over a wide range of scales. This approach accounts simultaneously for the small scale of aerosol-cloud interactions and for large-scale circulation adjustments. It demonstrates that increasing aerosol concentration in sub-tropical regions could significantly affect the clouds and radiative properties downwind in the deep tropics.

These results suggest that aerosol-cloud-interactions should be examined under broad spatial-temporal scales to account for the fact that aerosol perturbation in one location could affect the cloud properties in different, remote locations due to variations in the large-scale circulation.    

Citation: Dagan, G. (2022). Sub-tropical aerosols enhance tropical cloudiness—A remote aerosol-cloud lifetime effect. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 14, e2022MS003368.

—Jiwen Fan, Editor, JAMES

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