Aerosol and cloud microphysical data vary considerably over short distances. It is probably not realistic to represent clouds in climate models with one number for each cloud parameter for grid squares perhaps 104 km2 in size. Table 4.5 shows the distribution for cloud liquid water, cloud total water, droplet number concentration, and ice particle concentration in terms of 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% percentiles and mean values. Gultepe and Isaac (2004) describe the variations in more detail for droplet number concentration and suggest some probability density functions. Modelers are beginning to recognize that they need to consider the variance of important variables. However, the modeling community must present those who are making and analyzing the data some guidance as to what would be most useful.
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