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Simulated methane clouds in the Titan troposphere with the Titan PCM

Presentation #208.07D in the session Titan I: Atmosphere (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Simulated methane clouds in the Titan troposphere with the Titan PCM

On Titan, methane is at the origin of the main characteristics of the climate and of the prebiotic chemistry that take place there. Methane and minor gases from photochemistry, produce clouds and precipitation that sculpt the satellite’s landscape. Despite the many observations made by Cassini and Huygens, we still have a limited understanding of the couplings between the different cycles taking place on Titan. We propose to use a new microphysical model of haze and cloud, implemented in the Titan Planetary Climate Model (Titan PCM, formerly IPSL Titan GCM) to study the climate of Titan and the methane cycle, its sources, sinks and related processes including clouds and rains.

We adapted the microphysical haze and cloud model of Burgalat et al. 2014,2017 to simulate microphysical processes and account for their impact on the radiative transfer. These are phenomena not yet simulated in the 3D version, in particular the nucleation and condensation of methane clouds, responsible for a large part of Titan’s cloud cover. The optics of the model have also been reviewed, and improvements have been made to the radiative transfer. We will show the haze and cloud seasonal cycles as predicted by the PCM and also how haze and cloud cycles interacts with the atmosphere dynamical and thermal conditions.

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