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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 13345-13361, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-13345-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 13345-13361, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-13345-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Sep 2018

Research article | 19 Sep 2018

Observed aerosol suppression of cloud ice in low-level Arctic mixed-phase clouds

Matthew S. Norgren1, Gijs de Boer1,2, and Matthew D. Shupe1,2 Matthew S. Norgren et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2Physical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. The interactions that occur between aerosols and a mixed-phase cloud system, and the subsequent alteration of the microphysical state of such clouds, are a problem that has yet to be well constrained. Advancing our understanding of aerosol–ice processes is necessary to determine the impact of natural and anthropogenic emissions on Earth's climate and to improve our capability to predict future climate states. This paper deals specifically with how aerosols influence ice mass production in low-level Arctic mixed-phase clouds. In this study, a 9-year record of aerosol, cloud and atmospheric state properties is used to quantify aerosol influence on ice production in mixed-phase clouds. It is found that mixed-phase clouds present in a clean aerosol state have higher ice water content (IWC) by a factor of 1.22 to 1.63 at cloud base than do similar clouds in cases with higher aerosol loading. We additionally analyze radar-derived mean Doppler velocities to better understand the drivers behind this relationship, and we conclude that aerosol induced reduction of the ice crystal nucleation rate, together with decreased riming rates in polluted clouds, are likely influences on the observed reductions in IWC.

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Arctic mixed-phase clouds are a critical component of the Arctic climate system because of their ability to influence the surface radiation budget. The radiative impact of an individual cloud is closely linked to the ability of the cloud to convert liquid drops to ice. In this paper, we show through an observational record that clouds present in polluted atmospheric conditions have lower amounts of ice than similar clouds found in clean conditions.
Arctic mixed-phase clouds are a critical component of the Arctic climate system because of their...
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