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  • Author or Editor: Martina Krämer x
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Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Martina Krämer
,
Anna Luebke
,
Phil Brown
,
Daniel J. Cziczo
,
Charmaine Franklin
,
Paul Lawson
,
Ulrike Lohmann
,
Greg McFarquhar
,
Zbigniew Ulanowski
, and
Kristof Van Tricht

Abstract

The goal of this chapter is to synthesize information about what is now known about one of the three main types of clouds, cirrus, and to identify areas where more knowledge is needed. Cirrus clouds, composed of ice particles, form in the upper troposphere, where temperatures are generally below −30°C. Satellite observations show that the maximum-occurrence frequency of cirrus is near the tropics, with a large latitudinal movement seasonally. In situ measurements obtained over a wide range of cirrus types, formation mechanisms, temperatures, and geographical locations indicate that the ice water content and particle size generally decrease with decreasing temperature, whereas the ice particle concentration is nearly constant or increases slightly with decreasing temperature. High ice concentrations, sometimes observed in strong updrafts, result from homogeneous nucleation. The satellite-based and in situ measurements indicate that cirrus ice crystals typically differ from the simple, idealized geometry for smooth hexagonal shapes, indicating complexity and/or surface roughness. Their shapes significantly impact cirrus radiative properties and feedbacks to climate. Cirrus clouds, one of the most uncertain components of general circulation models (GCM), pose one of the greatest challenges in predicting the rate and geographical pattern of climate change. Improved measurements of the properties and size distributions and surface structure of small ice crystals (about 20 μm) and identifying the dominant ice nucleation process (heterogeneous versus homogeneous ice nucleation) under different cloud dynamical forcings will lead to a better representation of their properties in GCM and in modeling their current and future effects on climate.

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Zamin A. Kanji
,
Luis A. Ladino
,
Heike Wex
,
Yvonne Boose
,
Monika Burkert-Kohn
,
Daniel J. Cziczo
, and
Martina Krämer

Abstract

Ice particle formation in tropospheric clouds significantly changes cloud radiative and microphysical properties. Ice nucleation in the troposphere via homogeneous freezing occurs at temperatures lower than −38°C and relative humidity with respect to ice above 140%. In the absence of these conditions, ice formation can proceed via heterogeneous nucleation aided by aerosol particles known as ice nucleating particles (INPs). In this chapter, new developments in identifying the heterogeneous freezing mechanisms, atmospheric relevance, uncertainties, and unknowns about INPs are described. The change in conventional wisdom regarding the requirements of INPs as new studies discover physical and chemical properties of these particles is explained. INP sources and known reasons for their ice nucleating properties are presented. The need for more studies to systematically identify particle properties that facilitate ice nucleation is highlighted. The atmospheric relevance of long-range transport, aerosol aging, and coating studies (in the laboratory) of INPs are also presented. Possible mechanisms for processes that change the ice nucleating potential of INPs and the corresponding challenges in understanding and applying these in models are discussed. How primary ice nucleation affects total ice crystal number concentrations in clouds and the discrepancy between INP concentrations and ice crystal number concentrations are presented. Finally, limitations of parameterizing INPs and of models in representing known and unknown processes related to heterogeneous ice nucleation processes are discussed.

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