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Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 153;

Cloud Longwave Scattering Effect and Its Impact on Climate Simulation

1,2,* , 1,2,3
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100084, China
State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100084, China
Canadian Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Radiative Processes and Effect)
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The cloud longwave (LW) scattering effect has been ignored in most current climate models. To investigate its climate impact, we apply an eight-stream DIScrete Ordinates Radiative Transfer (DISORT) scheme to include the cloud LW scattering in the General circulation model version of the LongWave Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTMG_LW) and the Community Atmospheric Model Version 5 (CAM5). Results from the standalone RRTMG_LW and from diagnostic runs of CAM5 (no climate feedback) show that the cloud LW scattering reduces the upward flux at the top of the atmosphere and leads to an extra warming effect in the atmosphere. In the interactive runs with climate feedback included in CAM5, the cloud LW scattering effect is amplified by the water vapor-temperature feedback in a warmer atmosphere and has substantial influences on cloud fraction and specific humidity. The thermodynamic feedbacks are more significant in the northern hemisphere and the resulting meridional temperature gradient is different between the two hemispheres, which strengthens the southern branch of Hadley circulation, and modulates the westerly jet near 50° S and the upper part of Walker circulation. Our study concludes that the cloud LW scattering effect could have complex impacts on the global energy budget and shall be properly treated in future climate models. View Full-Text
Keywords: cloud scattering effect; longwave radiation; climate feedback; global circulation cloud scattering effect; longwave radiation; climate feedback; global circulation

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Zhao, W.; Peng, Y.; Wang, B.; Li, J. Cloud Longwave Scattering Effect and Its Impact on Climate Simulation. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 153.

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