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A model predicting the evolution of ice particle size spectra and radiative properties of cirrus clouds. Part 2: Dependence of absorption and extinction on ice crystal morphologyThis study builds upon the microphysical modeling described in Part 1 by deriving formulations for the extinction and absorption coefficients in terms of the size distribution parameters predicted from the micro-physical model. The optical depth and single scatter albedo of a cirrus cloud can then be determined, which, along with the asymmetry parameter, are the input parameters needed by cloud radiation models. Through the use of anomalous diffraction theory, analytical expressions were developed describing the absorption and extinction coefficients and the single scatter albedo as functions of size distribution parameters, ice crystal shapes (or habits), wavelength, and refractive index. The extinction coefficient was formulated in terms of the projected area of the size distribution, while the absorption coefficient was formulated in terms of both the projected area and mass of the size distribution. These properties were formulated as explicit functions of ice crystal geometry and were not based on an 'effective radius.' Based on simulations of the second cirrus case study described in Part 1, absorption coefficients predicted in the near infrared for hexagonal columns and rosettes were up to 47% and 71% lower, respectively, than absorption coefficients predicted by using equivalent area spheres. This resulted in single scatter albedos in the near-infrared that were considerably greater than those predicted by the equivalent area sphere method. Reflectances in this region should therefore be underestimated using the equivalent area sphere approach. Cloud optical depth was found to depend on ice crystal habit. When the simulated cirrus cloud contained only bullet rosettes, the optical depth was 142% greater than when the cloud contained only hexagonal columns. This increase produced a doubling in cloud albedo. In the near-infrared (IR), the single scatter albedo also exhibited a significant dependence on ice crystal habit. More research is needed on the geometrical properties of ice crystals before the influence of ice crystal shape on cirrus radiative properties can be adequately understood. This study provides a way of coupling the radiative properties of absorption, extinction, and single scatter albedo to the microphysical properties of cirrus clouds. The dependence of extinction and absorption on ice crystal shape was not just due to geometrical differences between crystal types, but was also due to the effect these differences had on the evolution of ice particle size spectra. The ice particle growth model in Part 1 and the radiative properties treated here are based on analytical formulations, and thus represent a computationally efficient means of modeling the microphysical and radiative properties of cirrus clouds.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Mitchell, David L.
(Univ. of Nevada System, Reno, NV United States)
Arnott, W. Patrick
(Univ. of Nevada System, Reno, NV United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
March 15, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume: 51
Issue: 6
ISSN: 0022-4928
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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