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Romy Ullrich, Corinna Hoose, Ottmar Möhler, Monika Niemand, Robert Wagner, Kristina Höhler, Naruki Hiranuma, Harald Saathoff, and Thomas Leisner


Based on results of 11 yr of heterogeneous ice nucleation experiments at the Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere (AIDA) chamber in Karlsruhe, Germany, a new empirical parameterization framework for heterogeneous ice nucleation was developed. The framework currently includes desert dust and soot aerosol and quantifies the ice nucleation efficiency in terms of the ice nucleation active surface site (INAS) approach.

The immersion freezing INAS densities n S of all desert dust experiments follow an exponential fit as a function of temperature, well in agreement with an earlier analysis of AIDA experiments. The deposition nucleation n S isolines for desert dust follow u-shaped curves in the ice saturation ratio–temperature (S iT) diagram at temperatures below about 240 K. The negative slope of these isolines toward lower temperatures may be explained by classical nucleation theory (CNT), whereas the behavior toward higher temperatures may be caused by a pore condensation and freezing mechanism. The deposition nucleation measured for soot at temperatures below about 240 K also follows u-shaped isolines with a shift toward higher S i for soot with higher organic carbon content. For immersion freezing of soot aerosol, only upper limits for n S were determined and used to rescale an existing parameterization line.

The new parameterization framework is compared to a CNT-based parameterization and an empirical framework as used in models. The comparison shows large differences in shape and magnitude of the n S isolines especially for deposition nucleation. For the application in models, implementation of this new framework is simple compared to that of other expressions.

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Romy Ullrich, Corinna Hoose, Daniel J. Cziczo, Karl D. Froyd, Joshua P. Schwarz, Anne E. Perring, Thaopaul V. Bui, Carl G. Schmitt, Bernhard Vogel, Daniel Rieger, Thomas Leisner, and Ottmar Möhler


The contribution of heterogeneous ice nucleation to the formation of cirrus cloud ice crystals is still not well quantified. This results in large uncertainties when predicting cirrus radiative effects and their role in Earth’s climate system. The goal of this case study is to simulate the composition, and thus activation conditions, of ice nucleating particles (INPs) to evaluate their contribution to heterogeneous cirrus ice formation in relation to homogeneous ice nucleation. For this, the regional model COSMO—Aerosols and Reactive Trace Gases (COSMO-ART) was used to simulate a synoptic cirrus cloud over Texas on 13 April 2011. The simulated INP composition was then compared to measured ice residual particle (IRP) composition from the actual event obtained during the NASA Midlatitude Airborne Cirrus Properties Experiment (MACPEX) aircraft campaign. These IRP measurements indicated that the dominance of heterogeneous ice nucleation was mainly driven by mineral dust with contributions from a variety of other particle types. Applying realistic activation thresholds and concentrations of airborne transported mineral dust and biomass-burning particles, the model implementing the heterogeneous ice nucleation parameterization scheme of Ullrich et al. is able to reproduce the overall dominating ice formation mechanism in contrast to the model simulation with the scheme of Phillips et al. However, the model showed flaws in reproducing the IRP composition.

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