A long-term study of cloud residuals from low-level Arctic clouds.

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Date: June 14, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 11)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 309 words

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Abstract :

To constrain uncertainties in radiative forcings associated with aerosol-cloud interactions, improved understanding of Arctic cloud formation is required, yet long-term measurements of the relevant cloud and aerosol properties remain sparse. We present the first long-term study of cloud residuals, i.e. particles that were involved in cloud formation and cloud processes, in Arctic low-level clouds measured at Zeppelin Observatory, Svalbard. To continuously sample cloud droplets and ice crystals and separate them from non-activated aerosol, a ground-based counter-flow virtual impactor inlet system (GCVI) was used. A detailed evaluation of the GCVI measurements, using concurrent cloud particle size distributions, meteorological parameters, and aerosol measurements, is presented for both warm and cold clouds, and the potential contribution of sampling artefacts is discussed in detail. We find an excellent agreement of the GCVI sampling efficiency of liquid clouds using two independent approaches. The 2-year data set of cloud residual size distributions and number concentrations reveals that the cloud residuals follow the typical seasonal cycle of Arctic aerosol, with a maximum concentration in spring and summer and a minimum concentration in the late autumn and winter months. We observed average activation diameters in the range of 58-78 nm for updraught velocities below 1 m s.sup.-1 . A cluster analysis also revealed cloud residual size distributions that were dominated by Aitken mode particles down to around 20-30 nm. During the winter months, some of these small particles may be the result of ice, snow, or ice crystal shattering artefacts in the GCVI inlet; however, cloud residuals down to 20 nm in size were also observed during conditions when artefacts are less likely.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A665195667