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T. Eidhammer, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Prenni, M. D. Petters, C. H. Twohy, D. C. Rogers, J. Stith, A. Heymsfield, Z. Wang, K. A. Pratt, K. A. Prather, S. M. Murphy, J. H. Seinfeld, R. Subramanian, and S. M. Kreidenweis

Abstract

The initiation of ice in an isolated orographic wave cloud was compared with expectations based on ice nucleating aerosol concentrations and with predictions from new ice nucleation parameterizations applied in a cloud parcel model. Measurements of ice crystal number concentrations were found to be in good agreement both with measured number concentrations of ice nuclei feeding the clouds and with ice nuclei number concentrations determined from the residual nuclei of cloud particles collected by a counterflow virtual impactor. Using lognormal distributions fitted to measured aerosol size distributions and measured aerosol chemical compositions, ice nuclei and ice crystal concentrations in the wave cloud were reasonably well predicted in a 1D parcel model framework. Two different empirical parameterizations were used in the parcel model: a parameterization based on aerosol chemical type and surface area and a parameterization that links ice nuclei number concentrations to the number concentrations of particles with diameters larger than 0.5 μm. This study shows that aerosol size distribution and composition measurements can be used to constrain ice initiation by primary nucleation in models. The data and model results also suggest the likelihood that the dust particle mode of the aerosol size distribution controls the number concentrations of the heterogeneous ice nuclei, at least for the lower temperatures examined in this case.

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J. Verlinde, J. Y. Harrington, G. M. McFarquhar, V. T. Yannuzzi, A. Avramov, S. Greenberg, N. Johnson, G. Zhang, M. R. Poellot, J. H. Mather, D. D. Turner, E. W. Eloranta, B. D. Zak, A. J. Prenni, J. S. Daniel, G. L. Kok, D. C. Tobin, R. Holz, K. Sassen, D. Spangenberg, P. Minnis, T. P. Tooman, M. D. Ivey, S. J. Richardson, C. P. Bahrmann, M. Shupe, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Heymsfield, and R. Schofield

The Mixed-Phase Arctic Cloud Experiment (M-PACE) was conducted from 27 September through 22 October 2004 over the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ACRF) on the North Slope of Alaska. The primary objectives were to collect a dataset suitable to study interactions between microphysics, dynamics, and radiative transfer in mixed-phase Arctic clouds, and to develop/evaluate cloud property retrievals from surface-and satellite-based remote sensing instruments. Observations taken during the 1977/98 Surface Heat and Energy Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA) experiment revealed that Arctic clouds frequently consist of one (or more) liquid layers precipitating ice. M-PACE sought to investigate the physical processes of these clouds by utilizing two aircraft (an in situ aircraft to characterize the microphysical properties of the clouds and a remote sensing aircraft to constraint the upwelling radiation) over the ACRF site on the North Slope of Alaska. The measurements successfully documented the microphysical structure of Arctic mixed-phase clouds, with multiple in situ profiles collected in both single- and multilayer clouds over two ground-based remote sensing sites. Liquid was found in clouds with cloud-top temperatures as cold as −30°C, with the coldest cloud-top temperature warmer than −40°C sampled by the aircraft. Remote sensing instruments suggest that ice was present in low concentrations, mostly concentrated in precipitation shafts, although there are indications of light ice precipitation present below the optically thick single-layer clouds. The prevalence of liquid down to these low temperatures potentially could be explained by the relatively low measured ice nuclei concentrations.

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