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A. Korolev, G. McFarquhar, P. R. Field, C. Franklin, P. Lawson, Z. Wang, E. Williams, S. J. Abel, D. Axisa, S. Borrmann, J. Crosier, J. Fugal, M. Krämer, U. Lohmann, O. Schlenczek, M. Schnaiter, and M. Wendisch

Abstract

Mixed-phase clouds represent a three-phase colloidal system consisting of water vapor, ice particles, and coexisting supercooled liquid droplets. Mixed-phase clouds are ubiquitous in the troposphere, occurring at all latitudes from the polar regions to the tropics. Because of their widespread nature, mixed-phase processes play critical roles in the life cycle of clouds, precipitation formation, cloud electrification, and the radiative energy balance on both regional and global scales. Yet, in spite of many decades of observations and theoretical studies, our knowledge and understanding of mixed-phase cloud processes remains incomplete. Mixed-phase clouds are notoriously difficult to represent in numerical weather prediction and climate models, and their description in theoretical cloud physics still presents complicated challenges. In this chapter, the current status of our knowledge on mixed-phase clouds, obtained from theoretical studies and observations, is reviewed. Recent progress, along with a discussion of problems and gaps in understanding the mixed-phase environment is summarized. Specific steps to improve our knowledge of mixed-phase clouds and their role in the climate and weather system are proposed.

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