Análisis y modelado del impacto del aerosol sobre las nubes y la precipitación (AEROPRE)
Aerosols are a critical factor in the atmospheric hydrological cycle and radiation budget. The complex interactions among clouds, aerosols, and precipitation are major sources of uncertainty in our ability to predict past and future climate change. Different studies show the impact of aerosols on precipitation systems from the perspective of microphysical processes, observational evidence, and a range of numerical model simulations, with clear discrepancies between results simulated by models, as well as those between simulations and observations. The finding of opposite roles played by aerosols in modulating rain has major scientific and social implications because it suggests that increases in aerosol pollution could make moist regions or seasons wetter and arid regions or seasons drier. Understanding these discrepancies is a necessary step toward further resolving aerosol effects on cloud microphysics, dynamics, and precipitation within climate systems. Each approach for isolating the aerosol effect on precipitation from other factors has it pros and cons. Large-scale diagnostics of the aerosol effect on precipitation, through either radiation or CCN changes or both, are incomplete without considering microphysics (clouds, aerosols, and precipitation), mesoscale cloud dynamics, and the large-scale background environment (aerosol transport, water budget). This requires collaboration and coordination among observations at different scales and modeling including the different issues.
The present proposal “Análisis y modelado del impacto del AEROsol sobre las nubes y la PREcipitación”, AEROPRE (“Analysis and modelling of the Impact of AEROsol on clouds and PREcipitation”) tries to answer to some of the open issues. The goal of AEROPRE is to contribute to the understanding and model representation of aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions (ACPI) with emphasis in the role of anthropogenic aerosol and mineral dust. The strategy, illustrated in Figure 1, involves the following aspects:
1. Collecting data from field studies
2. Analyzing the data to improve the understanding of atmospheric processes
3. Applying the understanding of atmospheric processes to high-resolution atmosphere models
4. Evaluating the high-resolution models using data from the field studies