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Eric J. Jensen, Rei Ueyama, Leonhard Pfister, Thaopaul V. Bui, R. Paul Lawson, Sarah Woods, Troy Thornberry, Andrew W. Rollins, Glenn S. Diskin, Joshua P. DiGangi, and Melody A. Avery

Abstract

Numerical simulations of cirrus formation in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) during boreal wintertime are used to evaluate the impact of heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) abundance on cold cloud microphysical properties and occurrence frequencies. The cirrus model includes homogeneous and heterogeneous ice nucleation, deposition growth/sublimation, and sedimentation. Reanalysis temperature and wind fields with high-frequency waves superimposed are used to force the simulations. The model results are constrained by comparison with in situ and satellite observations of TTL cirrus and relative humidity. Temperature variability driven by high-frequency waves has a dominant influence on TTL cirrus microphysical properties and occurrence frequencies, and inclusion of these waves is required to produce agreement between the simulated and observed abundance of TTL cirrus. With homogeneous freezing only and small-scale gravity waves included in the temperature curtains, the model produces excessive ice concentrations compared with in situ observations. Inclusion of relatively numerous heterogeneous ice nuclei (N IN ≥ 100 L−1) in the simulations improves the agreement with observed ice concentrations. However, when IN contribute significantly to TTL cirrus ice nucleation, the occurrence frequency of large supersaturations with respect to ice is less than indicated by in situ measurements. The model results suggest that the sensitivity of TTL cirrus extinction and ice water content statistics to heterogeneous ice nuclei abundance is relatively weak. The simulated occurrence frequencies of TTL cirrus are quite insensitive to ice nuclei abundance, both in terms of cloud frequency height distribution and regional distribution throughout the tropics.

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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

Abstract

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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Eric J. Jensen, Leonhard Pfister, David E. Jordan, Thaopaul V. Bui, Rei Ueyama, Hanwant B. Singh, Troy D. Thornberry, Andrew W. Rollins, Ru-Shan Gao, David W. Fahey, Karen H. Rosenlof, James W. Elkins, Glenn S. Diskin, Joshua P. DiGangi, R. Paul Lawson, Sarah Woods, Elliot L. Atlas, Maria A. Navarro Rodriguez, Steven C. Wofsy, Jasna Pittman, Charles G. Bardeen, Owen B. Toon, Bruce C. Kindel, Paul A. Newman, Matthew J. McGill, Dennis L. Hlavka, Leslie R. Lait, Mark R. Schoeberl, John W. Bergman, Henry B. Selkirk, M. Joan Alexander, Ji-Eun Kim, Boon H. Lim, Jochen Stutz, and Klaus Pfeilsticker

Abstract

The February–March 2014 deployment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) provided unique in situ measurements in the western Pacific tropical tropopause layer (TTL). Six flights were conducted from Guam with the long-range, high-altitude, unmanned Global Hawk aircraft. The ATTREX Global Hawk payload provided measurements of water vapor, meteorological conditions, cloud properties, tracer and chemical radical concentrations, and radiative fluxes. The campaign was partially coincident with the Convective Transport of Active Species in the Tropics (CONTRAST) and the Coordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics (CAST) airborne campaigns based in Guam using lower-altitude aircraft (see companion articles in this issue). The ATTREX dataset is being used for investigations of TTL cloud, transport, dynamical, and chemical processes, as well as for evaluation and improvement of global-model representations of TTL processes. The ATTREX data are publicly available online (at https://espoarchive.nasa.gov/).

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