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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Cited articles

Beard, K. V.: Ice initiation in warm-base convective clouds: an assessment of microphysical mechanisms, Atmos. Res., 28, 125–152,, 1992. a, b, c
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Cannon, T. D., Dye, J. E., and Toutenhoofd, V.: The mechanism of precipitation formation in Northeastern Colorado cumulus II. Sailplane measurements, J. Atmos. Sci., 31, 2148–2151,< 2152:TMOPFI> 2.0.CO;2, 1974. a
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