Articles | Volume 15, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10263–10270, 2015
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10263–10270, 2015

Technical note 16 Sep 2015

Technical note | 16 Sep 2015

Technical Note: A proposal for ice nucleation terminology

G. Vali1, P. J. DeMott2, O. Möhler3, and T. F. Whale4 G. Vali et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 3Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 4School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Abstract. Terminology dealing with ice nucleation in the atmosphere, in biological systems, and in other areas has not kept pace with the growth of empirical evidence and the development of new ideas over recent decades. Ambiguities and misinterpretations could be seen in the literature. This paper offers a set of definitions for various terms in common use, adds some qualifications, and introduces some new ones. Input has been received on the interpretation of various terms from a fair number of researchers; diverse views have been accommodated with some success. It is anticipated that the terminology proposed here will be helpful both to those who adopt it and to those who wish to explain a different perspective.

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Short summary
Clarification is needed in the terminology used to discuss ice nucleation in the literature. Conflicting interpretations coupled with uncertainties about the details of the processes have led to difficulties in the clear communication of results and ideas. This paper contains a proposal for future usage. This proposed terminology was arrived at as a result of a year-long exchange of suggestions by a number of scientists.
Final-revised paper