Measurements of ice crystal concentrations in mixed clouds tend to exceed ice nucleus concentrations measured in nearby clear air. This discrepancy is a source of uncertainty in climate change projections as the radiative properties of mixed phase clouds are largely determined by their liquid and ice water content. The ice enhancement process can sometimes depend on secondary ice production, which can occur through ice crystal fracture during sublimation, cloud drop shattering during freezing or following collision with ice particles. However, the discrepancy is observed even in mixed clouds where only primary ice nucleation processes occur. Several hypotheses have been suggested for the observed discrepancies. One factor could be the existence in clouds of pockets of high vapor supersaturation formed by droplet freezing or removal of small droplets by collision with larger droplets, associated with the fact that ice crystal concentration increases with water supersaturation. However, ice crystal concentrations are usually measured at near water saturation. Additional factors could be drop freezing during evaporation and activation of droplet evaporation residues. Here we suggest that a major factor could be underestimation of the contact freezing mode as it is not measured in experimental campaigns and seldom considered in nucleation models. Laboratory experiments give only incomplete answers to the important questions concerning the contact freezing mode, e.g. what fraction of the aerosol particles that come into contact with the droplet surface results in a freezing event and what is the influence of particle type and size, air temperature and relative humidity. As supercooled droplets grow or evaporate in mixed clouds, phoretic forces should play an important role in the collision efficiency between aerosol and droplets, and consequently in contact freezing. A further question is the possibility that aerosol, usually not active in deposition or condensation/ immersion freezing, can trigger ice nucleation by colliding with supercooled droplets.

Discrepancy between Ice Particles and Ice Nuclei in Mixed Clouds: Critical Aspects

Prodi, Franco;Nicosia, Alessia;
2017

Abstract

Measurements of ice crystal concentrations in mixed clouds tend to exceed ice nucleus concentrations measured in nearby clear air. This discrepancy is a source of uncertainty in climate change projections as the radiative properties of mixed phase clouds are largely determined by their liquid and ice water content. The ice enhancement process can sometimes depend on secondary ice production, which can occur through ice crystal fracture during sublimation, cloud drop shattering during freezing or following collision with ice particles. However, the discrepancy is observed even in mixed clouds where only primary ice nucleation processes occur. Several hypotheses have been suggested for the observed discrepancies. One factor could be the existence in clouds of pockets of high vapor supersaturation formed by droplet freezing or removal of small droplets by collision with larger droplets, associated with the fact that ice crystal concentration increases with water supersaturation. However, ice crystal concentrations are usually measured at near water saturation. Additional factors could be drop freezing during evaporation and activation of droplet evaporation residues. Here we suggest that a major factor could be underestimation of the contact freezing mode as it is not measured in experimental campaigns and seldom considered in nucleation models. Laboratory experiments give only incomplete answers to the important questions concerning the contact freezing mode, e.g. what fraction of the aerosol particles that come into contact with the droplet surface results in a freezing event and what is the influence of particle type and size, air temperature and relative humidity. As supercooled droplets grow or evaporate in mixed clouds, phoretic forces should play an important role in the collision efficiency between aerosol and droplets, and consequently in contact freezing. A further question is the possibility that aerosol, usually not active in deposition or condensation/ immersion freezing, can trigger ice nucleation by colliding with supercooled droplets.
Santachiara, Gianni; Prodi, Franco; Nicosia, Alessia; Belosi, Franco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2388273
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