Observed aerosol suppression of cloud ice in low-level Arctic mixed-phase clouds
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Observed aerosol suppression of cloud ice in low-level Arctic mixed-phase clouds
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  • Source:
    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 13345–13361, 2018
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  • Description:
    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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