31 Jan 2023
 | 31 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Airborne investigation of black carbon interaction with low-level, persistent, mixed-phase clouds in the Arctic summer

Marco Zanatta, Stephan Mertes, Olivier Jourdan, Regis Dupuy, Emma Järvinen, Martin Schnaiter, Oliver Eppers, Johannes Schneider, Zsófia Jurányi, and Andreas Herber

Abstract. Aerosol-cloud interaction is considered one of the largest sources of uncertainties in radiative forcing estimations. To better understand the role of black carbon aerosol as cloud nucleus and the impact of clouds on its vertical distribution in the Arctic, we report airborne in-situ measurements of refractory black carbon aerosol particles (rBC) in the European Arctic near Svalbard during the ACLOUD campaign held in summer 2017. rBC was measured with a single particle soot photometer on board of the research aircraft “Polar 6” from the lowest atmospheric layer up to approximately 3500 m asl. During in-cloud flight transects, rBC particles contained in liquid droplets (rBC residuals) were sampled through a counterflow virtual impactor (CVI). Overall, the presence of low-level clouds was associated with a radical change in the concentration and size distribution of rBC particles in the boundary layer compared to the free troposphere. Four flights conducted in the presence of inside-inversion, surface-coupled, mixed-phase clouds over sea ice, were selected to address the variability of rBC particles sampled above, below and within the cloud layer. We show that the properties of rBC such as concentration, size and mixing state drastically changed from the above to the below cloud layers, but also within the cloud layers from cloud top to cloud bottom. Our results might suggest the occurrence of a cloud-mediated transformation cycle of rBC particles in the boundary layer which includes activation, cloud processing, and sub-cloud release of processed rBC agglomerates. In the case of persistent low-level Arctic clouds, this cycle may reiterate multiple times, adding one additional degree of complexity to the understanding of cloud processing of black carbon particles in the Arctic.

Marco Zanatta et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2023-30', Darrel Baumgardner, 20 Feb 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2023-30', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Feb 2023

Marco Zanatta et al.

Data sets

Aircraft measurements of refractory black carbon in the Arctic during the ACLOUD campaign 2017 Marco Zanatta , Andreas Herber

Aircraft measurements of aerosol size distribution in the Arctic during the ACLOUD campaign 2017 Marco Zanatta , Andreas Herber

CDP, CIP and PIP In-situ arctic cloud microphysical properties observed during ACLOUD-AC3 campaign in June 2017 Dupuy, Regis; Jourdan, Olivier; Mioche, Guillaume; Gourbeyre, Christophe; Leroy, Delphine; Schwarzenböck, Alfons

Cloud top altitudes observed with airborne lidar during the ACLOUD campaign Neuber, Roland; Schmidt, Lukas Valentin; Ritter, Christoph; Mech, Mario

SID-3 1Hz size distribution of cloud particles during the ACLOUD campaign in 2017 Schnaiter, Martin; Järvinen, Emma

SID-3 1Hz size distribution of cloud particles during the ACLOUD campaign in 2017 Schnaiter, Martin; Järvinen, Emma

Marco Zanatta et al.


Total article views: 469 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
326 133 10 469 28 5 3
  • HTML: 326
  • PDF: 133
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 469
  • Supplement: 28
  • BibTeX: 5
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 31 Jan 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 31 Jan 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 459 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 459 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 27 Mar 2023
Short summary
Black carbon particles influence the Arctic radiative balance; however, in-situ observations remain rare. Vertical measurements of black carbon, in the European Arctic, show that low-level mixed-phase clouds might influence not only the vertical distribution of black carbon concentration, but also its microphysical properties.