Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
Research article
13 Dec 2017
Research article |  | 13 Dec 2017

Effects of snow grain shape on climate simulations: sensitivity tests with the Norwegian Earth System Model

Petri Räisänen, Risto Makkonen, Alf Kirkevåg, and Jens B. Debernard


Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Peer-review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
AR by Petri Räisänen on behalf of the Authors (30 Oct 2017)  Author's response   Manuscript 
ED: Publish as is (07 Nov 2017) by Becky Alexander
AR by Petri Räisänen on behalf of the Authors (08 Nov 2017)
Short summary
While snow grains are non-spherical, spheres are often assumed in radiation calculations. Here, we replace spherical snow grains with non-spherical snow grains in a climate model. This leads to a somewhat higher snow albedo (by 0.02–0.03), increased snow and sea ice cover, and a distinctly colder climate (by over 1 K in the global mean). It also impacts the radiative effects of aerosols in snow. Overall, this work highlights the important role of snow albedo parameterization for climate models.