Optimization of the sulfate aerosol hygroscopicity parameter in WRF-Chem

Ah Hyun Kim, Seong Soo Yum, Dong Yeong Chang, Minsu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A new sulfate aerosol hygroscopicity parameter (kSO4 ) parameterization is suggested that is capable of considering the two major sulfate aerosols, H2SO4 and .NH4/2SO4, using the molar ratio of ammonium to sulfate (R). An alternative kSO4 parameterization method is also suggested that utilizes typical geographical distribution patterns of sulfate and ammonium, which can be used when ammonium data are not available for model calculation. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem), the impacts of different kSO4 parameterizations on cloud microphysical properties and cloud radiative effects in East Asia are examined. Comparisons with the observational data obtained from an aircraft field campaign suggest that the new kSO4 parameterizations simulate more reliable aerosol and cloud condensation nuclei concentrations, especially over the sea in East Asia, than the original kSO4 parameterization in WRF-Chem that assumes sulfate aerosols as .NH4/2SO4 only. With the new kSO4 parameterizations, the simulated cloud microphysical properties and precipitation became significantly different, resulting in a greater cloud albedo effect of about 1:5Wm2 in East Asia than that with the original kSO4 parameterization. The new kSO4 parameterizations are simple and readily applicable to numerical studies investigating the impact of sulfate aerosols in aerosol cloud interactions without additional computational expense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-273
Number of pages15
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Multidisciplinary Scientific Geoconference. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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