17 Nov 2022
17 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Ice Nucleating Particles in Northern Greenland: annual cycles, biological contribution and parameterizations

Kevin Cheuk Hang Sze1, Heike Wex1, Markus Hartmann1,a, Henrik Skov2, Andreas Massling2, Diego Villanueva3, and Frank Stratmann1 Kevin Cheuk Hang Sze et al.
  • 1Experimental Aerosol and Cloud Microphysics, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2iClimate, Arctic Research Center, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zurich, 8092, Switzerland
  • anow at: Atmospheric Science, Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract. Ice nucleating particles (INPs) can initiate ice formation in clouds at temperatures above −38 °C through heterogeneous ice nucleation. As a result, INPs affect cloud microphysical and radiative properties, cloud life time and precipitation behavior and thereby ultimately the Earth’s climate. Yet, little is known regarding the sources, abundance and properties of INPs especially in remote regions such as the Arctic. In this study, two-year-long INP measurements (from July 2018 to September 2020) at Villum 5 Research Station (VRS) in Northern Greenland are presented. A low-volume filter sampler was deployed to collect filter samples for off-line INP analysis. An annual cycle of INP concentration (NINP) was observed and the fraction of biogenic INPs was found to be higher in snow-free months and lower in months when the surface was snow-covered. Samples were categorized into three different types based only on the slope of their INP spectra, namely into summer, winter and mix type. For each of the types a temperature dependent INP parameterization was derived, clearly different depending on the time 10 of the year. Winter and summer type occurred only during their respective seasons and were seen 60 % of the time. The mixed type occurred in the remaining 40 % of the time throughout the year. April, May and November were found to be transition months. A case study comparing April 2019 and April 2020 was performed. The month of April was selected because a significant difference in NINP was observed during these two periods, with clearly higher NINP in April 2020. NINP in the case study period revealed no clear dependency on either meteorological parameters or different surface types which were passed 15 by the collected air masses. Overall, the results suggest that the coastal regions of Greenland were main sources of INPs in April 2019 and 2020, most likely including both local terrestrial and marine sources. In parallel to the observed differences in NINP, also a higher cloud ice fraction was observed in satellite data for April 2020, compared to April 2019.

Kevin Cheuk Hang Sze et al.

Status: open (until 29 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-761', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Nov 2022 reply

Kevin Cheuk Hang Sze et al.

Kevin Cheuk Hang Sze et al.


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Short summary
Ice nucleating particles (INPs) play an important role in cloud formation, thus on our climate. But little is known about the abundance and properties of INPs, especially in the Arctic, where the temperature increases almost four times as fast as that of the rest of the globe. We observe higher INP concentrations and more biological INPs in summer than in winter, likely from local sources. We also provide three equations for estimating INP concentration in models at different times of the year.