Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2919-2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2919-2017
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

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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.