Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-665
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-665

  28 Jul 2020

28 Jul 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

The importance of Aitken mode aerosol particles for cloud sustenance in the summertime high Arctic: A simulation study supported by observational data

Ines Bulatovic1,2, Adele L. Igel3, Caroline Leck1,2, Jost Heintzenberg1,5, Ilona Riipinen4,2, and Annica M. L. Ekman1,2 Ines Bulatovic et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden
  • 2Bolin Centre for Climate Change, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden
  • 3Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, California
  • 4Department of Environmental Science (ACES), Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden
  • 5Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstr. 14, Leipzig, 04318, Germany

Abstract. The potential importance of Aitken mode particles (diameters ~ 25–80 nm) for stratiform mixed-phase clouds in the summertime high Arctic has been investigated using two large-eddy simulation models. We find that in both models Aitken mode particles significantly affect the simulated cloud properties and can help sustain the cloud when accumulation mode concentrations are low (< 10–20 cm−3), even when the particles have low hygroscopicity (hygroscopicity parameter κ = 0.1). However, the influence of the Aitken mode decreases if the overall liquid water content of the cloud is low, either due to a higher ice fraction or due to low radiative cooling rates. An analysis of the simulated supersaturation (ss) statistics shows that the ss frequently reaches 0.5 % and sometimes even exceeds 1 %, which confirms that Aitken mode particles can be activated. The modelling results are in qualitative agreement with observations of the Hoppel minimum obtained from four different expeditions in the high Arctic. Our findings highlight the importance of better understanding Aitken mode particle formation, chemical properties and emissions, in particular in clean environments such as the high Arctic.

Ines Bulatovic et al.

 
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Ines Bulatovic et al.

Data sets

Data from a modelling study on the importance of Aitken mode particles for cloud sustenance in the high Arctic Ines Bulatovic and Adele L. Igel https://doi.org/10.17043/bulatovic-2020

Ines Bulatovic et al.

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Short summary
We use detailed numerical modelling to show that small aerosol particles (diameters ~ 25–80 nm, so-called Aitken mode particles) significantly influence low-level cloud properties in the clean summertime high Arctic. The small particles can help sustain clouds when the concentration of larger particles is low (< 10–20 cm−3). Measurements from four different observational campaigns in the high Arctic support the modelling results as they indicate that Aitken mode aerosols are frequently activated.
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