ABSTRACT: Satellite observations show that ice cloud effective radius (re) increases with ice water content (IWC) but decreases with aerosol optical thickness (AOT). Using least-squares fitting to the observed data, we obtain an analytical formula to describe the variations of re with IWC and AOT for several regions with distinct characteristics of re-IWC-AOT relationships. As IWC directly relates to convective strength and AOT represents aerosol loading, our empirical formula provides a means to quantify the relative roles of dynamics and aerosols in controlling re in different geographical regions, and to establish a framework for parameterization of aerosol effects on re in climate models.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 01/2011;