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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Abstract. The Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiative (SNICAR) model has been used in various capacities over the last 15 years to model the spectral albedo of snow with light-absorbing constituents (LACs). Recent studies have extended the model to include an adding-doubling two-stream solver and representations of non-spherical ice particles; carbon dioxide snow; snow algae; and new types of mineral dust, volcanic ash, and brown carbon. New options also exist for ice refractive indices and solar-zenith-angle-dependent surface spectral irradiances used to derive broadband albedo. The model spectral range was also extended deeper into the ultraviolet for studies of extraterrestrial and high-altitude cryospheric surfaces. Until now, however, these improvements and capabilities have not been merged into a unified code base. Here, we document the formulation and evaluation of the publicly available SNICAR-ADv3 source code, web-based model, and accompanying library of constituent optical properties. The use of non-spherical ice grains, which scatter less strongly into the forward direction, reduces the simulated albedo perturbations from LACs by ∼9 %–31 %, depending on which of the three available non-spherical shapes are applied. The model compares very well against measurements of snow albedo from seven studies, though key properties affecting snow albedo are not fully constrained with measurements, includingmore »ice effective grain size of the top sub-millimeter of the snowpack, mixing state of LACs with respect to ice grains, and site-specific LAC optical properties. The new default ice refractive indices produce extremely high pure snow albedo (>0.99) in the blue and ultraviolet part of the spectrum, with such values only measured in Antarctica so far. More work is needed particularly in the representation of snow algae, including experimental verification of how different pigment expressions and algal cell concentrations affect snow albedo. Representations and measurements of the influence of liquid water on spectral snow albedo are also needed.« less
  3. Abstract. The interactions between aerosols and ice clouds represent one of the largest uncertainties in global radiative forcing from pre-industrial time to the present. In particular, the impact of aerosols on ice crystal effective radius (Rei), which is a key parameter determining ice clouds' net radiative effect, is highly uncertain due to limited and conflicting observational evidence. Here we investigate the effects of aerosols on Rei under different meteorological conditions using 9-year satellite observations. We find that the responses of Rei to aerosol loadings are modulated by water vapor amount in conjunction with several other meteorological parameters. While there is a significant negative correlation between Rei and aerosol loading in moist conditions, consistent with the "Twomey effect" for liquid clouds, a strong positive correlation between the two occurs in dry conditions. Simulations based on a cloud parcel model suggest that water vapor modulates the relative importance of different ice nucleation modes, leading to the opposite aerosol impacts between moist and dry conditions. When ice clouds are decomposed into those generated from deep convection and formed in situ, the water vapor modulation remains in effect for both ice cloud types, although the sensitivities of Rei to aerosols differ noticeably between them duemore »to distinct formation mechanisms. The water vapor modulation can largely explain the difference in the responses of Rei to aerosol loadings in various seasons. A proper representation of the water vapor modulation is essential for an accurate estimate of aerosol–cloud radiative forcing produced by ice clouds.

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