The role of ice nuclei recycling in the maintenance of cloud ice in Arctic mixed-phase stratocumulus
- 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
- 2Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Abstract. This study investigates the maintenance of cloud ice production in Arctic mixed-phase stratocumulus in large eddy simulations that include a prognostic ice nuclei (IN) formulation and a diurnal cycle. Balances derived from a mixed-layer model and phase analyses are used to provide insight into buffering mechanisms that maintain ice in these cloud systems. We find that, for the case under investigation, IN recycling through subcloud sublimation considerably prolongs ice production over a multi-day integration. This effective source of IN to the cloud dominates over mixing sources from above or below the cloud-driven mixed layer. Competing feedbacks between dynamical mixing and recycling are found to slow the rate of ice lost from the mixed layer when a diurnal cycle is simulated. The results of this study have important implications for maintaining phase partitioning of cloud ice and liquid that determine the radiative forcing of Arctic mixed-phase clouds.