Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 156–168 | Cite as

Advances in studies of cloud overlap and its radiative transfer in climate models

Articles

Abstract

The latest advances in studies on the treatment of cloud overlap and its radiative transfer in global climate models are summarized. Developments with respect to this internationally challenging problem are described from aspects such as the design of cloud overlap assumptions, the realization of cloud overlap assumptions within climate models, and the data and methods used to obtain consistent observations of cloud overlap structure and radiative transfer in overlapping clouds. To date, there has been an appreciable level of achievement in studies on cloud overlap in climate models, demonstrated by the development of scientific assumptions (e.g., e-folding overlap) to describe cloud overlap, the invention and broad application of the fast radiative transfer method for overlapped clouds (Monte Carlo Independent Column Approximation), and the emergence of continuous 3D cloud satellite observation (e.g., CloudSat/CALIPSO) and cloud-resolving models, which provide numerous data valuable for the exact description of cloud overlap structure in climate models. However, present treatments of cloud overlap and its radiative transfer process are far from complete, and there remain many unsettled problems that need to be explored in the future.

Key words

cloud overlap climate model parameterization 

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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hua Zhang (张华)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xianwen Jing (荆现文)
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina

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