The temperature dependence of ice-nucleating particle concentrations affects the radiative properties of tropical convective cloud systems.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 7)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 265 words

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Abstract :

Convective cloud systems in the maritime tropics play a critical role in global climate, but accurately representing aerosol interactions within these clouds persists as a major challenge for weather and climate modelling. We quantify the effect of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) on the radiative properties of a complex tropical Atlantic deep convective cloud field using a regional model with an advanced double-moment microphysics scheme. Our results show that the domain-mean daylight outgoing radiation varies by up to 18 W m.sup.-2 depending on the chosen INP parameterisation. The key distinction between different INP parameterisations is the temperature dependence of ice formation, which alters the vertical distribution of cloud microphysical processes. The controlling effect of the INP temperature dependence is substantial even in the presence of Hallett-Mossop secondary ice production, and the effects of secondary ice formation depend strongly on the chosen INP parameterisation. Our results have implications for climate model simulations of tropical clouds and radiation, which currently do not consider a link between INP particle type and ice water content. The results also provide a challenge to the INP measurement community, as we demonstrate that INP concentration measurements are required over the full mixed-phase temperature regime, which covers around 10 orders of magnitude.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A657817934