Maartje Sanne Kuilman, PhD student at MISU.
Maartje Sanne Kuilman, PhD student at MISU.

Maartje Sanne Kuilman
PhD student MISU

Exploring noctilucent cloud variability using the nudged and extended version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model

Ice particles in the summer mesosphere – such as those connected to noctilucent clouds and polar mesospheric summer echoes - have since their discovery contributed to the uncovering of atmospheric processes on various scales ranging from interactions on molecular levels to global scale circulation patterns. While there are numerous model studies on mesospheric ice microphysics and how the clouds relate to the background atmosphere, there are at this point few studies using comprehensive global climate models to investigate observed variability and climatology of noctilucent clouds.

In this study it is explored to what extent the large-scale inter-annual characteristics of noctilucent clouds are captured in a 30-year run - extending from 1979 to 2009 - of the nudged and extended version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM30). To construct and investigate zonal mean inter-seasonal variability in noctilucent cloud occurrence frequency and ice mass density in both hemispheres, a simple cloud model is applied in which it is assumed that the ice content is solely controlled by the local temperature and water vapor volume mixing ratio. The model results are compared to satellite observations, each having an instrument-specific sensitivity when it comes to detecting noctilucent clouds.

It is found that the model is able to capture the onset dates of the NLC seasons in both hemispheres as well as the hemispheric differences in NLCs, such as weaker NLCs in the SH than in the NH and differences in cloud height. We conclude that the observed cloud climatology and zonal mean variability are well captured by the model.

Time and Place:
Thursday Oct 5th 2017, 14.15
Rossbysalen C609, Arrhenius Laboratory, 6th floor

(This event has taken place.)