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C. G. Schmitt and A. J. Heymsfield

Abstract

Ice crystal aggregates imaged by aircraft particle imaging probes often appear to be fractal in nature. As such, their dimensional properties, mass, and projected area can be related using fractal geometry. In cloud microphysics, power-law mass (m)– and area (A)–dimensional (D) relationships (e.g., m = aDb) incorporate different manifestations of the fractal dimension as the exponent (b). In this study a self-consistent technique is derived for determining the mass and projected area properties of ice particles from fractal geometry. A computer program was developed to simulate the crystal aggregation process. The fractal dimension of the simulated aggregates was estimated using the box counting method in three dimensions as well as for two-dimensional projected images of the aggregates. The two- and three-dimensional fractal dimension values were found to be simply related. This relationship enabled the development of mass–dimensional relationships analytically from cloud particle images. This technique was applied to data collected during two field projects. The exponent in the mass–dimensional relationship, the fractal dimension, was found to be between 2.0 and 2.3 with a dependence on temperature noted for both datasets. The coefficient a in the mass–dimensional relationships was derived in a self-consistent manner. Temperature-dependent mass–dimensional relationships have been developed. Cloud ice water content estimated using the temperature-dependent relationship and particle size distributions agreed well with directly measured ice water content values. The results are appropriate for characterizing cloud particle properties in clouds with high concentrations of ice crystal aggregates.

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C. G. Schmitt and A. J. Heymsfield

Abstract

Representations for the surface area of ice particles in terms of the projected area have been developed using two different methods. The first method uses ice particles that are imaged in situ and geometric calculations that are based on the outline of the two-dimensional image of the particle. The second method uses computer-generated ice particle shapes and calculates the total surface area analytically. The results of the second method compare reasonably well with the results of the first method. Surface area estimates for individual particles were combined with particle size distribution and projected area measurements from the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers (CRYSTAL)–Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (FACE) field project to give total surface area estimates for observed ice particle populations. Population surface area estimates were also made from balloon-borne replicator data collected during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment, phase II (FIRE-II). A relationship between the particle population surface area and projected area (cloud extinction) has been derived. The total particle surface area for particle populations is estimated to be between 8 and 10 times the projected area or between 4 and 5 times the extinction and has a small dependence on the properties of the particle size distribution for particles observed in random orientations.

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C. G. Schmitt and A. J. Heymsfield

Abstract

Ice crystal terminal velocities govern the lifetime of radiatively complex, climatologically important, low-latitude tropopause cirrus clouds. To better understand cloud lifetimes, the terminal velocities of low-latitude tropopause cirrus cloud particles have been estimated using data from aircraft field campaigns. Data used in this study were collected during the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers–Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE) and the Pre-Aura Validation Experiment (Pre-AVE). Particle properties were measured with the NCAR video ice particle sampler (VIPS) probe, thus providing information about particles in a poorly understood size range. Data used in this study were limited to high-altitude nonconvective thin clouds with temperatures between −56° and −86°C.

Realistic particle terminal velocity estimates require accurate values of particle projected area and mass. Exponential functions were used to predict the dimensional properties of ice particles smaller than 200 microns and were found to predict ice water content measurements well when compared to power-law representations. The shapes of the particle size distributions were found to be monomodal and were well represented by exponential or gamma functions. Incorporating these findings into terminal velocity calculations led to lower values of mass-weighted terminal velocities for particle populations than are currently predicted for low-latitude ice clouds. New parameterizations for individual particle properties as well as particle size distribution properties are presented and compared to commonly used parameterizations. Results from this study are appropriate for use in estimating the properties of low-latitude thin and subvisible cirrus at temperatures lower than −56°C.

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C. G. Schmitt, J. Iaquinta, and A. J. Heymsfield

Abstract

Cirrus clouds in the midlatitude and Arctic regions are often composed of bullet rosette–shaped ice crystals. Bullet rosette–shaped ice crystals are composed of a number of bullets radiating from a central point. The bullets that make up the rosette will grow to be hollow in some conditions. To understand better the radiative impact of cirrus clouds, the authors have used a ray-tracing code to calculate the scattering properties of solid and hollow bullet rosettes at visible wavelengths. Results show that hollow bullet rosettes exhibit a broader forward-scattering peak than do solid bullet rosettes. This difference results in an asymmetry parameter that is as much as 0.08 lower for hollow bullet rosettes than for solid rosettes. The effective asymmetry parameter of spheres with the same particle volume and total surface area of the bullet rosettes has also been calculated. Asymmetry parameter estimates for equivalent spheres were similar to those calculated using the ray tracing. Asymmetry parameter calculations were used in combination with direct aircraft measurements from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program intensive operational period in March of 2000. Asymmetry parameter estimates were used with particle size distributions for three cirrus cloud flights for which the observed large particles were predominantly bullet rosettes. Calculated asymmetry parameter values (0.80–0.84) agreed poorly with published cirrus parameterizations (0.75–0.84) when applied to the same aircraft data. Differences lead to 4.5–9 W m−2 differences in reflected and transmitted visible light energy for a cloud of 0.5 optical depth.

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Vanessa M. Przybylo, Kara J. Sulia, Carl G. Schmitt, Zachary J. Lebo, and William C. May

Abstract

Aggregation, the process by which two or more ice particles attach to each other, is typically observed in clouds that span a range of temperatures and is influenced by the crystal shape (habit). In this study, the resulting characteristics of ice–ice two-monomer aggregation is investigated, which is expected to improve microphysical parameterizations through more precise aggregate characteristics and in turn better predict the rate of aggregation and snow development. A systematic way to determine the aspect ratio of the aggregate was developed, which takes into account the expected falling orientations, overlap of each monomer, and any contact angle that may form through so-called constrained randomization. Distributions were used to obtain the most frequent aspect ratio, major axis, and minor axis of aggregated particles with respect to the monomer aspect ratio. Simulations were completed using the Ice Particle and Aggregate Simulator (IPAS), a model that uses predefined three-dimensional geometries, (e.g., hexagonal prisms) to simulate ice crystal aggregation and allows for variation in crystal size, shape, number, and falling orientation. In this study, after collection in a theoretical grid space, detailed information is extracted from the particles to determine the properties of aggregates. It was found that almost all monomer aspect ratios aggregate to less extreme aggregate aspect ratios at nearly the same rate. Newly formed aggregate properties are amenable to implementation into more sophisticated bulk microphysical models designed to predict and evolve particle properties, which is crucial in realistically evolving cloud ice mass distribution and for representing the collection process.

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A. R. Webb, A. F. Bais, M. Blumthaler, G-P. Gobbi, A. Kylling, R. Schmitt, S. Thiel, F. Barnaba, T. Danielsen, W. Junkermann, A. Kazantzidis, P. Kelly, R. Kift, G. L. Liberti, M. Misslbeck, B. Schallhart, J. Schreder, and C. Topaloglou

Abstract

Results are presented from the Actinic Flux Determination from Measurements of Irradiance (ADMIRA) campaign to measure spectral global UV irradiance and actinic flux at the ground, beneath an atmosphere well defined by supporting measurements. Actinic flux is required to calculate photolysis rates for atmospheric chemistry, yet most spectral UV measurements are of irradiance. This work represents the first part of a project to provide algorithms for converting irradiances to actinic fluxes with specified uncertainties. The campaign took place in northern Greece in August 2000 and provided an intercomparison of UV spectroradiometers measuring different radiation parameters, as well as a comprehensive radiation and atmospheric dataset. The independently calibrated spectroradiometers measuring irradiance and actinic flux agreed to within 5%, while measurements of spectral direct irradiance differed by 9%. Relative agreement for all parameters proved to be very stable during the campaign. A polarization problem in the Brewer spectrophotometer was identified as a problem in making radiance distribution measurements with this instrument. At UV wavelengths actinic fluxes F were always greater than the corresponding irradiance E by a factor between 1.4 and 2.6. The value of the ratio F : E depended on wavelength, solar zenith angle, and the optical properties of the atmosphere. Both the wavelength and solar zenith angle dependency of the ratio decreased when the scattering in the atmosphere increased and the direct beam proportion of global irradiance decreased, as expected. Two contrasting days, one clear and one with higher aerosol and some cloud, are compared to illustrate behavior of the F : E ratio.

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