The studies in this dissertation aim at advancing our scientific understandings about physical processes involved in the aerosol-cloud-precipitation interaction and quantitatively assessing the impacts of aerosols on the cloud systems with diverse scales over the globe on the basis of the observational data analysis and various modeling studies. Long-term impacts of aerosols on precipitation and lightning over the Pearl River Delta megacity area in China are identified through the analysis of seven-year measurements of precipitation, lightning flashes, and visibility from 2000 to 2006. The cloud resolving - Weather Research and Forecasting (CR-WRF) model with a two- moment bulk microphysical scheme is employed to simulate a mesoscale convective system in the Guangzhou megacity area and to elucidate the effects of aerosols on cloud processes, precipitation, and lightning activity. The responses of hydrometeors and latent heat release to different aerosol loadings reveal the physical mechanism for the precipitation and lightning enhancement in the Guangzhou megacity area, showing more efficient mixed phase processes and intensified convection under the polluted aerosol condition. Sensitivity modeling experiments are performed for maritime warm stratocumulus clouds over the southeast Pacific Ocean to evaluate the microphysical parameterizations for simulations of the aerosol effects in regional and global climate models. The Morrison double-moment bulk microphysical scheme presently implemented in the WRF model is modified by replacing the fixed aerosols in the original bulk scheme with a prognostic double-moment aerosol representation to predict both aerosol number concentration and mass mixing ratio. The impacts of the parameterizations of diffusional growth and autoconversion of cloud droplets and the selection of the embryonic raindrop radius on the performance of the bulk microphysical scheme are also evaluated. The impacts of Asian pollution outflows on the Pacific storm track are assessed utilizing reanalysis data, a hierarchical modeling approach and the multi-scale aerosol- climate modeling frame. Statistical analysis of two sets of reanalysis data suggests a strengthened trend of the storm track intensity over the North Pacific since 1979. The two-month seasonal simulations using a CR-WRF model with a two-moment bulk microphysics are performed to examine the aerosol effects on the Pacific storm track intensity. Subsequently, the anomalies of the diabatic heating rate by the Asian pollution outflow derived from the CR-WRF simulations have been prescribed in the NACR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) to provide the aerosol forcing terms. The forced GCM well reproduces an enhancement in the intensity of storm track, compared to the unforced model simulations. Similarly, under the multi-scale aerosol-climate modeling frame, the comparisons of the simulated present day versus pre-industrial climate corresponding to two different aerosol scenarios indicate the increased precipitation and poleward heat transport for the present-day climate reveal invigorated mid-latitude cyclones. The current work illustrates the complexity of the aerosol effects on the cloud systems at the diverse scales with different meteorological conditions. This study also stresses the importance of accurate representation of aerosol forcings in the different types of atmospheric numerical models for future climate projections.
- Zhang, Renyi University Distinguished Professor