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Mechanisms and impacts of the diurnal cycle of clouds

PI: Steve Nesbitt
Institution: UIUC
We will be analyzing the representation of the diurnal cycle by the coupled models using the 3 hourly output from the IPCC simulations in preparation of a preproposal for the DoE ARM request for proposals.

We will examine the performance of general circulation models in simulating the diurnal cycle of convection and radiative forcing in the TWP using DoE ARM above synthesis datasets. We will examine the 3-hourly output over from long-term simulations, and evaluate the performance of the convective schemes in each model in producing the observed diurnal cycle of cloudiness, precipitation, and radiative forcing. We will perform intercomparisons with observations at the DoE ACRF facilities as well as the broader implications of diurnal cycle characteristics provided by satellite synthesis datasets (such as ISCCP).

Anticipated outcomes of this research include (1) a greatly improved understanding of the mechanisms which control the observed complex diurnal cycle the TWP using observations from the ACRFs and satellites, (2) improved quantification of the impact of the diurnal cycle of cloud systems on radiative forcing, stratified by the magnitude and type of diurnal variability and cloud system type, and (3) understanding of the uncertainties in GCM model simulations of the diurnal cycle in the TWP, including attribution of observed biases in GCMs introduced by poor representation of the diurnal cycle, and (4) improvement in the performance of GCM simulations in the TWP by evaluating and improving the performance of convective parameterizations in examined regimes in future model runs.


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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate