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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 5933-5948, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-9-5933-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 5933-5948, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-9-5933-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 Aug 2009

19 Aug 2009

Parameterizing the competition between homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing in ice cloud formation – polydisperse ice nuclei

D. Barahona1 and A. Nenes1,2 D. Barahona and A. Nenes
  • 1School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Abstract. This study presents a comprehensive ice cloud formation parameterization that computes the ice crystal number, size distribution, and maximum supersaturation from precursor aerosol and ice nuclei. The parameterization provides an analytical solution of the cloud parcel model equations and accounts for the competition effects between homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing, and, between heterogeneous freezing in different modes. The diversity of heterogeneous nuclei is described through a nucleation spectrum function which is allowed to follow any form (i.e., derived from classical nucleation theory or from observations). The parameterization reproduces the predictions of a detailed numerical parcel model over a wide range of conditions, and several expressions for the nucleation spectrum. The average error in ice crystal number concentration was −2.0±8.5% for conditions of pure heterogeneous freezing, and, 4.7±21% when both homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing were active. The formulation presented is fast and free from requirements of numerical integration.

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