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Sensitivity of liquid clouds to homogenous freezing parameterizations

Herbert, R., Murray, B. J., Dobbie, S. J. and Koop, T. (2015) Sensitivity of liquid clouds to homogenous freezing parameterizations. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (5). pp. 1599-1605. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062729


Water droplets in some clouds can supercool to temperatures where homogeneous ice nucleation becomes the dominant freezing mechanism. In many cloud resolving and mesoscale models, it is assumed that homogeneous ice nucleation in water droplets only occurs below some threshold temperature typically set at −40°C. However, laboratory measurements show that there is a finite rate of nucleation at warmer temperatures. In this study we use a parcel model with detailed microphysics to show that cloud properties can be sensitive to homogeneous ice nucleation as warm as −30°C. Thus, homogeneous ice nucleation may be more important for cloud development, precipitation rates, and key cloud radiative parameters than is often assumed. Furthermore, we show that cloud development is particularly sensitive to the temperature dependence of the nucleation rate. In order to better constrain the parameterization of homogeneous ice nucleation laboratory measurements are needed at both high (>−35°C) and low (<−38°C) temperatures.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:81674
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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