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Using the sensitivity of large-eddy simulations to evaluate atmospheric boundary layer models

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons37347

Stevens,  Bjoern
Director’s Research Group AES, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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jcli-d-11-00338.1.pdf
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Citation

Bellon, G., & Stevens, B. (2012). Using the sensitivity of large-eddy simulations to evaluate atmospheric boundary layer models. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 69, 1582 -1601. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00338.1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-9F9A-6
Abstract
A simple framework to study the sensitivity of atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) models to the large-scale conditions and forcings is introduced. This framework minimizes the number of parameters necessary to describe the large-scale conditions, subsidence, and radiation. Using this framework, the sensitivity of the stationary ABL to the large-scale boundary conditions [underlying sea surface temperature (SST) and overlying humidity and temperature in the free troposphere] is investigated in large-eddy simulations (LESs). For increasing SST or decreasing free-tropospheric temperature, the LES exhibits a transition from a cloud-free, well-mixed ABL stationary state, through a cloudy, well-mixed stationary state and a stable shallow cumulus stationary state, to an unstable regime with a deepening shallow cumulus layer. For a warm SST, when increasing free-tropospheric humidity, the LES exhibits a transition from a stable shallow cumulus stationary state, through a stable cumulus-under-stratus stationary state, to an unstable regime with a deepening, cumulus-under-stratus layer. For a cool SST, when increasing the free-tropospheric humidity, the LES stationary state exhibits a transition from a cloud-free, well-mixed ABL regime, through a well-mixed cumulus-capped regime, to a stratus-capped regime with a decoupling between the subcloud and cloud layers. This dataset can be used to evaluate other ABL models. As an example, the sensitivity of a bulk model based on the mixing-line model is presented. This bulk model reproduces the LES sensitivity to SST and free-tropospheric temperature for the stable and unstable shallow cumulus regimes, but it is less successful at reproducing the LES sensitivity to free-tropospheric humidity for both shallow cumulus and well-mixed regimes.