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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Arctic mixed-phase clouds significantly influence the energy budget of the Arctic. We show that a climate model considering the secondary ice production (SIP) can explain the observed cloud ice number concentrations, vertical distribution pattern, and probability density distribution of ice crystal number concentrations. The mixed-phase cloud occurrence and phase partitioning are also improved.
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1276
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1276

  28 Dec 2020

28 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Impacts of Secondary Ice Production on Arctic Mixed-Phase Clouds based on ARM Observations and CESM2

Xi Zhao1, Xiaohong Liu1, Vaughan T. J. Phillips2, and Sachin Patade2 Xi Zhao et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77840, USA
  • 2Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Abstract. For decades, measured ice crystal number concentrations have been found to be orders of magnitude higher than measured ice nucleating particles in moderately cold clouds. This observed discrepancy reveals the existence of secondary ice production (SIP) in addition to the primary ice nucleation. However, the importance of SIP relative to primary ice nucleation remains highly unclear. Furthermore, most weather and climate models do not represent well the SIP processes, leading to large biases in simulated cloud properties.

This study demonstrates a first attempt to represent different SIP mechanisms (frozen raindrop shattering, ice-ice collisional break-up, and rime splintering) in a global climate model (GCM). The model is run in the single column mode to facilitate comparisons with the Department of Energy (DOE)'s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mixed-Phase Arctic Cloud Experiment (M-PACE) observations.

We show the SIP importance in the four types of clouds during M-PACE (i.e., multilayer, and single-layer stratus, transition, and front clouds), with the maximum enhancement in ice crystal number concentration by up to 4 orders of magnitude in the moderately-cold clouds. We reveal that SIP is the dominant source of ice crystals near the cloud base for the long-lived Arctic single-layer mixed-phase clouds. The model with SIP improves the occurrence and phase partitioning of the mixed-phase clouds, reverses the vertical distribution pattern of ice number concentration, and provides a better agreement with observations. The findings of this study highlight the importance of considering the SIP in GCMs.

Xi Zhao et al.

 
Status: open (until 22 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 22 Feb 2021)
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Xi Zhao et al.

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Short summary
Arctic mixed-phase clouds significantly influence the energy budget of the Arctic. We show that a climate model considering the secondary ice production (SIP) can explain the observed cloud ice number concentrations, vertical distribution pattern, and probability density distribution of ice crystal number concentrations. The mixed-phase cloud occurrence and phase partitioning are also improved.
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