Cloud processing of aerosol particles is an important process and is, for example, thought to be responsible for the so-called “Hoppel-minimum” in the marine aerosol particle distribution or contribute to the cell organization of marine boundary layer clouds. A numerical study of the temporal and spatial scales of the processing of aerosol particles by typical marine stratocumulus clouds is presented. The dynamical framework is inspired by observations during the VOCALS (Variability of the American Monsoon System Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study) Regional Experiment in the Southeast Pacific. The 3-D mesoscale model version of DESCAM (Detailed Scavenging Model) follows cloud microphysics of the stratocumulus deck in a bin-resolved manner and has been extended to keep track of cloud-processed particles in addition to non-processed aerosol particles in the air and inside the cloud drops. The simulation follows the evolution of the processing of aerosol particles by the cloud. It is found that within one hour almost all boundary layer aerosol particles have passed through at least one cloud cycle. However, as the in-cloud residence times of the particles in the considered case are only on the order of minutes, the aerosol particles remain essentially unchanged. Our findings suggest that in order to produce noticeable microphysical and dynamical effects in the marine boundary layer clouds, cloud processing needs to continue for extended periods of time, exceeding largely the time period considered in the present study. A second model study is dedicated to the interaction of ship track particles with marine boundary layer clouds. The model simulates quite satisfactorily the incorporation of the ship plume particles into the cloud. The observed time and spatial scales and a possible Twomey effect were reproduced.
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