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Improved simulation of clouds over the Southern Ocean in a General Circulation Model

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2019)

The present generation of global climate models is characterized by insufficient reflection of short-wave radiation over the Southern Ocean due to a misrepresentation of clouds. This is a significant concern as it leads to excessive heating of the ocean surface, sea surface temperature biases, and subsequent problems with atmospheric dynamics. In this study we modify cloud micro-physics in a recent version of the Met Office’s Unified Model and show that choosing a more realistic value for the shape parameter of atmospheric ice-crystals, in better agreement with theory and observations, benefits the simulation of short-wave radiation.

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