Articles | Volume 18, issue 3
Research article
05 Feb 2018
Research article |  | 05 Feb 2018

Initiation of secondary ice production in clouds

Sylvia C. Sullivan, Corinna Hoose, Alexei Kiselev, Thomas Leisner, and Athanasios Nenes

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Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling and Data Analysis | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

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Chen, J.-P. and Lamb, D.: The theoretical basis for the parameterization of ice crystal habits: growth by vapor deposition, J. Atmos. Sci., 51, 1206–1221,, 1994. a
Short summary
Ice multiplication (IM) processes can have a profound impact on cloud and precipitation development but are poorly understood. Here we study whether a lower limit of ice nuclei exists to initiate IM. The lower limit is found to be extremely low (0.01 per liter or less). A counterintuitive but profound conclusion thus emerges: IM requires cloud formation around a thermodynamic sweet spot and is sensitive to fluctuations in cloud condensation nuclei concentration alone.
Final-revised paper