Simulating Southern Ocean Aerosol and Ice Nucleating Particles in the Community Earth System Model Version 2

Journal Article
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, vol. 128, iss. 8, 2023
Christina S. McCluskey, Andrew Gettelman, Charles G. Bardeen, Paul J. DeMott, Kathryn A. Moore, Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Thomas C. J. Hill, Kevin R. Barry, Cynthia H. Twohy, Darin W. Toohey, Bryan Rainwater, Jorgen B. Jensen, John M. Reeves, Simon P. Alexander, Greg M. McFarquhar
AbstractSouthern Ocean (SO) low‐level mixed phase clouds have been a long‐standing challenge for Earth system models to accurately represent. While improvements to the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) resulted in increased supercooled liquid in SO clouds and improved model radiative biases, simulated SO clouds in CESM2 now contain too little ice. Previous observational studies have indicated that marine particles are major contributor to SO low‐level cloud heterogeneous ice nucleation, a process that initiates a number of cloud processes that govern cloud radiative properties. In this study, we utilize detailed aerosol and ice nucleating particle (INP) measurements from two recent measurement campaigns to assess simulated aerosol abundance, number size distributions, and composition and INP parameterizations for use in CESM2. Our results indicate that CESM2 has a positive bias in simulated surface‐level total aerosol surface area at latitudes north of 58°S. Measured INP populations were dominated by marine INPs and we present evidence of refractory INPs present over the SO assumed here to be mineral dust INPs. Results highlight a critical need to assess simulated mineral dust number and size distributions in CESM2 in order to adequately represent SO INP populations and their response to long‐term changes in atmospheric transport patterns and land use change. We also discuss important cautions and limitations in applying a commonly used mineral dust INP parameterization to remote regions like the pristine SO.