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Sensitivities of Large Eddy Simulations of Aerosol Plume Transport and Cloud Response
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  • Chandru Dhandapani,
  • Colleen M Kaul,
  • Kyle G Pressel,
  • Peter N. Blossey,
  • Robert Wood,
  • Gourihar Kulkarni
Chandru Dhandapani
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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Colleen M Kaul
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kyle G Pressel
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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Peter N. Blossey
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Robert Wood
University of Washington
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Gourihar Kulkarni
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DOE)
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Cloud responses to surface-based sources of aerosol perturbation depend in part on the characteristics of the aerosol transport to cloud base and the resulting spatial and temporal distribution of aerosol. However, interactions among aerosol, cloud, and turbulence processes complicate the prediction of this aerosol transport and can obscure diagnosis of the aerosols' effects on cloud and turbulence properties. Here, scenarios of plume injection below a marine stratocumulus cloud are modeled using large eddy simulations coupled to a prognostic bulk aerosol and cloud microphysics scheme. Both passive plumes, consisting of an inert tracer, and active plumes are investigated, where the latter are representative of saltwater droplet plumes such as have been proposed for marine cloud brightening. Passive plume scenarios show a spurious in-plume cloud brightening due solely to the connections between updrafts, cloud condensation, and scalar transport. Numerical sensitivities are first assessed to establish a suitable model configuration. Then sensitivity to particle injection rate is investigated. Trade-offs are identified between the number of injected particles and the suppressive effect of droplet evaporation on plume loft and spread. Furthermore, as the in-plume brightening effect does not depend significantly on injection rate given a suitable definition of perturbed versus unperturbed regions of the flow, plume area is a key controlling factor on the overall cloud brightening effect of an aerosol perturbation.
20 Dec 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
27 Dec 2023Published in ESS Open Archive