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Original Research Papers

Ice nuclei characteristics from M-PACE and their relation to ice formation in clouds

Authors:

Anthony J. Prenni ,

Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, US
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Paul J. Demott,

Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, US
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David C. Rogers,

National Center for Atmospheric Research, US
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Sonia M. Kreidenweis,

Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, US
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Greg M. Mcfarquhar,

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, US
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Gong Zhang,

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, US
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Michael R. Poellot

Department of Atmospheric Science, University of North Dakota, US
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Abstract

This paper presents airborne measurements of ice nuclei (IN) number concentration and elemental composition from the mixed-phase Arctic cloud experiment (M-PACE) in northern Alaska during October 2004. Although the project average IN concentration was low, less than 1 L-1 STP, there was significant spatial and temporal variability, with local maximum concentrations of nearly 60 L-1 STP. Immersion and/or condensation freezing appear to be the dominant freezing mechanisms, whereas mechanisms that occur below water saturation played a smaller role. The dominant particle types identified as IN were metal oxides/dust (39%), carbonaceous particles (35%) and mixtures of metal oxides/dust with either carbonaceous components or salts/sulphates (25%), although there was significant variability in elemental composition. Trajectory analysis suggests both local and remote sources, including biomass burning and volcanic ash. Seasonal variability of IN number concentrations based on this study and data from SHEBA/FIREACE indicates that fall concentrations are depleted relative to spring by about a factor of five. Average IN number concentrations from both studies compare favorably with cloud ice number concentrations of cloud particles larger than 125 μm, for temperatures less than -10°C. Cloud ice number concentrations also were enhanced in spring, by a factor of ˜2, but only over a limited temperature range.

How to Cite: Prenni, A.J., Demott, P.J., Rogers, D.C., Kreidenweis, S.M., Mcfarquhar, G.M., Zhang, G. and Poellot, M.R., 2009. Ice nuclei characteristics from M-PACE and their relation to ice formation in clouds. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 61(2), pp.436–448. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2008.00415.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2009
 Accepted on 15 Dec 2008            Submitted on 9 Jun 2008

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