Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 11, 2919–2942, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2919-2017

Special issue: Interactions between climate change and the Cryosphere: SVALI,...

The Cryosphere, 11, 2919–2942, 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 et al.

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Cited articles

Aoki, T., Aoki, T., Fukabori, M., Hachikubo, A., Tachibana, Y., and Nishio, F.: Effects of snow physical parameters on spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance of snow surface, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 10219–10236, https://doi.org/10.1029/1999JD901122, 2000.
Aoki, T., Kuchiki, K., Niwano, M., Kodama, Y., Hosaka, M., and Tanaka, T.: Physically based snow albedo model for calculating broadband albedos and the solar heating profile in snowpack for general circulation models, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D11114, https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JD015507, 2011.
Bentsen, M., Bethke, I., Debernard, J. B., Iversen, T., Kirkevåg, A., Seland, Ø., Drange, H., Roelandt, C., Seierstad, I. A., Hoose, C., and Kristjansson, J. E.: The Norwegian Earth System Model, NorESM1-M – Part 1: Description and basic evaluation of the physical climate, Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 687–720, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-6-687-2013, 2013.
Bitz, C. M., Shell, K. M., Gent, P. R., Bailey, D. A., Danabasoglu, G., Armour, K. C., Holland, M. M., and Kiehl, J. T.: Climate sensitivity of the Community Climate System Model, version 4, J. Climate, 25, 3053–3070, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00290.1, 2012.
Briegleb, B. P. and Light, B.: A delta-Eddington multiple scattering parameterization for solar radiation in the sea ice component of the Community Climate System Model, NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-472+STR, https://doi.org/10.5065/D6B27S71, 2007.
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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.