Scale Effects

Measurements made using aerosol or cloud microphysical probes often examine particle concentrations in volumes less than one cm-3 and in most cases less than a few liters. These measurements, however, are used in climate models to describe the average properties of clouds on scales reaching hundreds of kilometers. It is clear that if cloud microphysical data are analyzed over different scales, different answers can be obtained. Gultepe and Isaac (1999, 2007) showed this effect for cloud liquid water, droplet concentration, and parameterizations of cloud cover. Cober et al. (2001c) described this in some detail for cloud LWC and droplet concentration (see Figure 4.11). For climate simulations, especially considering the demanding accuracies required by the sensitivity studies of Slingo (1990) and Rotstayn (1999), these effects are important.

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