University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. > Uncertainties in estimates of the aerosol radiative effects – Efficiency of primary and secondary aerosols.

Uncertainties in estimates of the aerosol radiative effects – Efficiency of primary and secondary aerosols.

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Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in the global climate system through modifications of the global radiation budget: directly, by scattering and absorption of radiation and indirectly, by the modification of cloud properties and abundance. In particular the indirect aerosol effects on clouds are subject to large uncertainties.

Global aerosol-cloud climate models allow quantitative estimates, albeit uncertain, of anthropogenic aerosol radiative effects. In this study we investigate aerosol effects through modelling studies with the ECHAM5 -HAM aerosol-climate model with microphysical representation of aerosol-cloud interactions: utilizing its prognostic aerosol size-distribution, mixing state and cloud droplet number concentration to explicitly couple the aerosol and cloud systems.

Here, our focus is on the different efficiencies of primary and secondary aerosols in perturbing the global radiation balance. Our results help reduce uncertainties in estimates of the aerosol radiative effects and provide valuable information for the necessary level of detail in the microphysical process representation in global climate models.

This talk is part of the Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. series.

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