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Non-Monotonic Aerosol Effect on Precipitation in Convective Clouds over Tropical Oceans

Liu, Huan and Guo, Jianping and Koren, Ilan and Altaratz, Orit and Dagan, Guy and Wang, Yuan and Jiang, Jonathan H. and Zhai, Panmao and Yung, Yuk L. (2019) Non-Monotonic Aerosol Effect on Precipitation in Convective Clouds over Tropical Oceans. Scientific Reports, 9 . Art. No. 7809. ISSN 2045-2322. PMCID PMC6534586.

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Aerosol effects on convective clouds and associated precipitation constitute an important open-ended question in climate research. Previous studies have linked an increase in aerosol concentration to a delay in the onset of rain, invigorated clouds and stronger rain rates. Here, using observational data, we show that the aerosol effect on convective clouds shifts from invigoration to suppression with increasing aerosol optical depth. We explain this shift in trend (using a cloud model) as the result of a competition between two types of microphysical processes: cloud-core-based invigorating processes vs. peripheral suppressive processes. We show that the aerosol optical depth value that marks the shift between invigoration and suppression depends on the environmental thermodynamic conditions. These findings can aid in better parameterizing aerosol effects in climate models for the prediction of climate trends.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Guo, Jianping0000-0001-8530-8976
Koren, Ilan0000-0001-6759-6265
Wang, Yuan0000-0001-6657-8401
Jiang, Jonathan H.0000-0002-5929-8951
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 11 January 2019; Accepted 14 May 2019; Published 24 May 2019. Data Availability: All observational datasets used in this study are publicly available. The numerical results are available from the corresponding author upon request. The authors would like to thank Z. Li for help with the analyses of satellite aerosol and precipitation, and T. Nakajima for advice on the response of precipitation to aerosols. We acknowledge the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for providing the reanalysis data for this study, and NASA for making the TRMM precipitation radar satellite datasets publicly accessible. H.L. and J.G. were supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under grant 2017YFC1501401, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant 41771399. I.K., O.A., G.D. and H.L. were supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel (Grant No. 3–14444). Y.W., J.H.J. and Y.L.Y. were supported by the NASA-sponsored Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Author Contributions: J.G., I.K. and P.Z. designed the study. Data were analyzed by H.L. and G.D. Model simulations were run by G.D. The manuscript was written by H.L., I.K., J.G., O.A., G.D., J.H.J., Y.L.Y. and Y.W. The authors declare no competing interests.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)2017YFC1501401
National Natural Science Foundation of China41771399
Ministry of Science and Technology (Israel)3–14444
PubMed Central ID:PMC6534586
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190603-093109450
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96029
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Jun 2019 16:40
Last Modified:20 Apr 2020 08:47

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