The effect of marine ice-nucleating particles on mixed-phase clouds

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Title: The effect of marine ice-nucleating particles on mixed-phase clouds
Author: Raatikainen, Tomi; Prank, Marje; Ahola, Jaakko; Kokkola, Harri; Tonttila, Juha; Romakkaniemi, Sami
Contributor organization: Ilmatieteen laitos
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Publisher: Copernicus Publ.
Date: 2022
Language: en
Belongs to series: Atmospheric chemistry and physics
ISSN: 1680-7316
Abstract: Shallow marine mixed-phase clouds are important for the Earth’s radiative balance, but modelling their formation and dynamics is challenging. These clouds depend on boundary layer turbulence and cloud top radiative cooling, which is related to the cloud phase. The fraction of frozen droplets depends on the availability of suitable ice-nucleating particles (INPs), which initiate droplet freezing. While mineral dust is the dominating INP type in most regions, high-latitude boundary layer clouds can be dependent on local marine INP emissions, which are often related to biogenic sources including phytoplankton. Here we use high resolution large eddy simulations to examine the potential effects of marine emissions on boundary layer INP concentrations and their effects on clouds. Surface emissions have a direct effect on INP concentration in a typical well-mixed boundary layer whereas a steep inversion can block the import of background INPs from the free troposphere. The importance of the marine source depends on the background INP concentration, so that marine INP emissions become more important with lower background INP concentrations. For the INP budget it is also important to account for INP recycling. Finally, with the high-resolution model we show how ice nucleation hotspots and high INP concentrations are focused on updraught regions. Our results show that marine INP emissions contribute directly to the boundary layer INP budget and therefore have an influence on mixed-phase clouds.
Subject: ice-nucleating particles (INPs)
marine mixed-phase clouds
radiative balance
Rights: CC BY 4.0

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