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Impact of including the longwave scattering effect of clouds on the Arctic energy budget and climate in winter
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  • Xianwen Jing,
  • Yi-Hsuan Chen,
  • Xianglei Huang,
  • Ping Yang,
  • Wuyin Lin
Xianwen Jing
Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Yi-Hsuan Chen
University of Michigan
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Xianglei Huang
Univ of Michigan
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Ping Yang
Texas A&M Univ
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Wuyin Lin
Brookhaven National Laboratory
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Scattering of longwave radiation by cloud particles has been regarded unimportant and hence commonly neglected in global climate models. However, it has been demonstrated by recent studies that cloud longwave scattering plays an unignorable role in modulating the energy budget of the Earth System. Offline radiative transfer calculation showed that excluding cloud longwave scattering could overestimate outgoing longwave radiation and underestimate downward irradiance to the surface, and thus impose excessive cooling onto the atmosphere column. How this physical process interacts with other processes in the Arctic climate system, however, has not been thoroughly evaluated yet. Given the fact that the melting of ice and snow that cover the vast surface of the Arctic region is sensitive to energy budget, and such melting may trigger further feedback mechanisms, the neglection of cloud longwave scattering could bias the regional climate simulations to a considerable extent. We have incorporated cloud longwave scattering into the NCAR CESM and the DoE E3SM and this study analyzed the impact on the simulated polar climates in both earth system models. Cloud longwave scattering leads to a warmer surface air temperature in both models, especially over the wintertime. A detailed surface energy budget analysis is performed, for both the mean state and the temporal variability. Preliminary results suggest that the leading change is downward longwave flux and upward longwave flux, followed by the changes of turbulent heat flux. How the longwave scattering treatments can couple with cloud microphysics and precipitation physics to affect Arctic precipitation is further explored.