The relative impact of cloud condensation nuclei ; and ice nucleating particle concentrations on phase-partitioning in Arctic Mixed-Phase Stratocumulus Clouds Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. This study investigates the interactions between cloud dynamics and aerosols in idealized large-eddy simulations of an Arctic mixed-phase stratocumulus cloud observed at Oliktok Point, Alaska in April 2015. This case was chosen because it allows the cloud to form in response to radiative cooling starting from a cloud-free state, rather than requiring the cloud ice and liquid to adjust to an initial cloudy state. Sensitivity studies are used to identify whether there are buffering feedbacks that limit the impact of aerosol perturbations. The results of this study indicate that perturbations in ice nucleating particles (INPs) dominate over cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) perturbations, i.e., an equivalent fractional decrease in CCN and INPs results in an increase in the cloud-top longwave cooling rate, even though the droplet effective radius increases and the cloud emissivity decreases. The dominant effect of ice in the simulated mixed-phase cloud is a thinning rather than a glaciation, causing the mixed-phase clouds to radiate as a grey body and the radiative properties of the cloud to be more sensitive to aerosol perturbations. It is demonstrated that allowing prognostic CCN and INP causes a layering of the aerosols, with increased concentrations of CCN above cloud top and increased concentrations of INP at the base of the cloud-driven mixed-layer. This layering contributes to the maintenance of the cloud liquid, which drives the dynamics of the cloud system.;

publication date

  • August 10, 2018

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • June 3, 2021 10:01 AM

Full Author List

  • Solomon A; de Boer G; Creamean JM; McComiskey A; Shupe MD; Maahn M; Cox C

author count

  • 7

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