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Global relevance of marine organic aerosol as ice nucleating particles

Huang, W. T. K., Ickes, L. ORCID:, Tegen, I. ORCID:, Rinaldi, M. ORCID:, Ceburnis, D. and Lohmann, U. ORCID: (2018) Global relevance of marine organic aerosol as ice nucleating particles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18 (15). pp. 11423-11445. ISSN 1680-7316

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/acp-18-11423-2018


Ice nucleating particles (INPs) increase the temperature at which supercooled droplets start to freeze. They are therefore of particular interest in mixed-phase cloud temperature regimes, where supercooled liquid droplets can persist for extended periods of time in the absence of INPs. When INPs are introduced to such an environment, the cloud can quickly glaciate following ice multiplication processes and the Wegener–Bergeron–Findeisen (WBF) process. The WBF process can also cause the ice to grow to precipitation size and precipitate out. All of these processes alter the radiative properties. Despite their potential influence on climate, the ice nucleation ability and importance of different aerosol species is still not well understood and is a field of active research. In this study, we use the aerosol–climate model ECHAM6-HAM2 to examine the global relevance of marine organic aerosol (MOA), which has drawn much interest in recent years as a potentially important INPs in remote marine regions. We address the uncertainties in emissions and ice nucleation activity of MOA with a range of reasonable set-ups and find a wide range of resulting MOA burdens. The relative importance of MOA as an INP compared to dust is investigated and found to depend strongly on the type of ice nucleation parameterisation scheme chosen. On the zonal mean, freezing due to MOA leads to relative increases in the cloud ice occurrence and in-cloud number concentration close to the surface in the polar regions during summer. Slight but consistent decreases in the in-cloud ice crystal effective radius can also be observed over the same regions during all seasons. Regardless, MOA was not found to affect the radiative balance significantly on the global scale, due to its relatively weak ice activity and a low sensitivity of cloud ice properties to heterogeneous ice nucleation in our model.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:91886
Publisher:Copernicus Publications


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