• A study of the link between cloud microphysics and climate change

      Hu, Yong-Xiang; Stamnes, Knut; Musgrave, David; Rees, Manfred; Shaw, Glenn E.; Tsay, Shee-Chee; Watkins, Brenton (1994)
      The climate related cloud radiative properties (fluxes and heating rates) are found to be determined by the second and the third moments of the cloud droplet size distribution. The detailed distribution of the cloud droplet size is unnecessary to obtain for climate purposes. An accurate parameterization of cloud optical properties suitable for climate models is developed. A new radiative-convective model has been developed and used for studying cloud-climate interactions. The energy balance at the Earth-atmosphere interface is treated in a self-consistent manner which avoids artificial tuning. The cloud radiative properties are accurately incorporated and are suitable for sensitivity studies of cloud-radiation-climate interactions. A sensitivity study of role of the cloud microphysical properties in the climate system is performed by studying the impact of cloud radiative forcing on the equilibrium state temperature. The cloud equivalent radius is found to be a very important variable in the climate system. A climate sensitivity study is performed to highlight the important role of the cloud absorption. An adjoint radiative transfer method is developed for use in the cloudy and aerosol-loaded atmospheres. The physical meaning of the adjoint radiative properties are discussed. The method is expected to be useful in climate modeling and remote sensing studies. A preliminary study of the atmospheric irreversibility is performed to elucidate the connection between cloud microphysical properties and the macrophysical direction of global climate. A variational principle which describes the macrophysical character of the climate system is established.