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The sensitivity of climate simulations to the specification of mixed phase clouds

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In the prognostic stratiform cloud scheme used in the UK Meteorological Office Unified Model, mixed phase clouds are assumed to exist between 0 and −15 °C. Recent observations of such clouds, carried out using the C-130 aircraft of the Meteorological Research Flight, suggest that a smaller range of 0 to −9°C may be more appropriate. The sensitivity of cloud and radiation fields as simulated by a 5 × 7.5° latitude-longitude version of the Unified Model to such a reduction in the temperature range of mixed phase clouds is considered. Using a smaller temperature range systematic errors in the radiation budget of the model are reduced in mid-latitudes, bringing the model into closer agreement with ERBE data. The sensitivity of model albedo to an increase in the temperature range over which mixed phase clouds are assumed to exist, suggested by previous observational studies, is also considered together with the impact of removing the mixed phase part of the precipitation parametrization altogether.

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Correspondence to D. Gregory.

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Gregory, D., Morris, D. The sensitivity of climate simulations to the specification of mixed phase clouds. Climate Dynamics 12, 641–651 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00216271

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  • Radiation Field
  • Unify Model
  • Small Temperature
  • Climate Simulation
  • Mixed Phase