Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II
Online ISSN : 2186-9057
Print ISSN : 0026-1165
ISSN-L : 0026-1165
Impacts of Number of Cloud Condensation Nuclei on Two-Dimensional Moist Rayleigh Convection
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2020 Volume 98 Issue 2 Pages 437-453


    The impacts of the number density of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and other thermodynamic quantities on moist Rayleigh convection were examined. A numerical model, consisting of a simple two–dimensional equation for Boussinesq air and a sophisticated double moment microphysics scheme, was developed. The impact of the number of CCN is most prominent in the initially formed convection, whereas the convection in the quasi–steady state does not significantly depend on the number of CCN. It is suggested that the former convection is driven by a mechanism without a background circulation, such as parcel theory. In contrast, the latter convection appears to be driven by the statically unstable background layer.

Incorporating the cloud microphysics reduces the integrated kinetic energy and number of convective cells (increases the distance between the cells), with some exceptions, which are consistent with previous studies. These features are not largely sensitive to the number of CCN. It is shown in this study that the reduction in kinetic energy is mainly due to condensation (evaporation) in the upper (lower) layer, which tends to stabilize the fluid.

The ensemble simulation shows that the sensitivity of the moist processes to changes in the temperature at the bottom boundary, temperature lapse rate, water vapor mixing ratio, and CCN is qualitatively similar to that in the control simulation. The impact becomes strong with increasing temperature lapse rate. The number of convective cells in a domain decreases with the degree of supersaturation or an increase in the domain-integrated condensate.

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© The Author(s) 2020. This is an open access article published by the Meteorological Society of Japan under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
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