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Cloud-droplet growth due to supersaturation fluctuations in stratiform clouds
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Swedish e-Science Research Centre, Sweden; University of Colorado, USA.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . Swedish e-Science Research Centre, Sweden; National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA.
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. University of Colorado, USA.
Number of Authors: 42019 (English)In: Atmospheric Chemistry And Physics, ISSN 1680-7316, E-ISSN 1680-7324, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 639-648Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Condensational growth of cloud droplets due to supersaturation fluctuations is investigated by solving the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic equations using direct numerical simulations (DNS) with droplets being modeled as Lagrangian particles. The supersaturation field is calculated directly by simulating the temperature and water vapor fields instead of being treated as a passive scalar. Thermodynamic feedbacks to the fields due to condensation are also included for completeness. We find that the width of droplet size distributions increases with time, which is contrary to the classical theory without supersaturation fluctuations, where condensational growth leads to progressively narrower size distributions. Nevertheless, in agreement with earlier Lagrangian stochastic models of the condensational growth, the standard deviation of the surface area of droplets increases as t(1/2). Also, for the first time, we explicitly demonstrate that the time evolution of the size distribution is sensitive to the Reynolds number, but insensitive to the mean energy dissipation rate. This is shown to be due to the fact that temperature fluctuations and water vapor mixing ratio fluctuations increase with increasing Reynolds number; therefore the resulting supersaturation fluctuations are enhanced with increasing Reynolds number. Our simulations may explain the broadening of the size distribution in stratiform clouds qualitatively, where the mean updraft velocity is almost zero.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 19, no 1, p. 639-648
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165651DOI: 10.5194/acp-19-639-2019ISI: 000456052700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-165651DiVA, id: diva2:1286482
Available from: 2019-02-07 Created: 2019-02-07 Last updated: 2019-02-07Bibliographically approved

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Li, Xiang-YuSvensson, GunillaBrandenburg, Axel
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