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Publication Date
9 August 2015

A New Approach to Modeling Aerosol Effects on East Asian Climate: Parametric Uncertainties Associated with Emissions, Cloud Microphysics, and their Interactions



In this study, we adopt a parametric sensitivity analysis framework that integrates the quasi-Monte Carlo parameter sampling approach and a surrogate model to examine aerosol effects on the East Asian Monsoon climate simulated in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5). A total number of 256 CAM5 simulations are conducted to quantify the model responses to the uncertain parameters associated with cloud microphysics parameterizations and aerosol (e.g., sulfate, black carbon (BC), and dust) emission factors and their interactions. Results show that the interaction terms among parameters are important for quantifying the sensitivity of fields of interest, especially precipitation, to the parameters. The relative importance of cloud microphysics parameters and emission factors (strength) depends on evaluation metrics or the model fields we focused on, and the presence of uncertainty in cloud microphysics imposes an additional challenge in quantifying the impact of aerosols on cloud and climate. Due to their different optical and microphysical properties and spatial distributions, sulfate, BC, and dust aerosols have very different impacts on East Asian Monsoon through aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions. The climatic effects of aerosol do not always have a monotonic response to the change of emission factors. The spatial patterns of both sign and magnitude of aerosol-induced changes in radiative fluxes, cloud, and precipitation could be different, depending on the aerosol types, when parameters are sampled in different ranges of values. We also identify the different cloud microphysical parameters that show the most significant impact on climatic effect induced by sulfate, BC, and dust, respectively, in East Asia.

“A New Approach To Modeling Aerosol Effects On East Asian Climate: Parametric Uncertainties Associated With Emissions, Cloud Microphysics, And Their Interactions”. 2015. Journal Of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 120: 8905-8924. doi:10.1002/2015JD023442/full.
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