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  1. Abstract Prediction of ice formation in clouds presents one of the grand challenges in the atmospheric sciences. Immersion freezing initiated by ice-nucleating particles (INPs) is the dominant pathway of primary ice crystal formation in mixed-phase clouds, where supercooled water droplets and ice crystals coexist, with important implications for the hydrological cycle and climate. However, derivation of INP number concentrations from an ambient aerosol population in cloud-resolving and climate models remains highly uncertain. We conducted an aerosol–ice formation closure pilot study using a field-observational approach to evaluate the predictive capability of immersion freezing INPs. The closure study relies on collocated measurements of the ambient size-resolved and single-particle composition and INP number concentrations. The acquired particle data serve as input in several immersion freezing parameterizations, which are employed in cloud-resolving and climate models, for prediction of INP number concentrations. We discuss in detail one closure case study in which a front passed through the measurement site, resulting in a change of ambient particle and INP populations. We achieved closure in some circumstances within uncertainties, but we emphasize the need for freezing parameterization of potentially missing INP types and evaluation of the choice of parameterization to be employed. Overall, this closure pilot studymore »aims to assess the level of parameter details and measurement strategies needed to achieve aerosol–ice formation closure. The closure approach is designed to accurately guide immersion freezing schemes in models, and ultimately identify the leading causes for climate model bias in INP predictions.« less
  2. Stratocumulus clouds over the Southern Ocean have fewer droplets and are more likely to exist in the predominately supercooled phase than clouds at similar temperatures over northern oceans. One likely reason is that this region has few continental and anthropogenic sources of cloud-nucleating particles that can form droplets and ice. In this work, we present an overview of aerosol particle types over the Southern Ocean, including new measurements made below, in and above clouds in this region. These measurements and others indicate that biogenic sulfur-based particles >0.1 μm diameter contribute the majority of cloud condensation nuclei number concentrations in summer. Ice nucleating particles tend to have more organic components, likely from sea-spray. Both types of cloud nucleating particles may increase in a warming climate likely to have less sea ice, more phytoplankton activity, and stronger winds over the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. Taken together, clouds over the Southern Ocean may become more reflective and partially counter the region’s expected albedo decrease due to diminishing sea ice. However, detailed modeling studies are needed to test this hypothesis due to the complexity of ocean-cloud-climate feedbacks in the region.
  3. Data from both laboratory studies and atmospheric measurements are used to develop an empirical parameterization for the immersion freezing activity of natural mineral dust particles. Measurements made with the Colorado State University (CSU) continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) when processing mineral dust aerosols at a nominal 105% relative humidity with respect to water (RHw) are taken as a measure of the immersion freezing nucleation activity of particles. Ice active frozen fractions vs. temperature for dusts representative of Saharan and Asian desert sources were consistent with similar measurements in atmospheric dust plumes for a limited set of comparisons available. The parameterization developed follows the form of one suggested previously for atmospheric particles of non-specific composition in quantifying ice nucleating particle concentrations as functions of temperature and the total number concentration of particles larger than 0.5 μm diameter. Such an approach does not explicitly account for surface area and time dependencies for ice nucleation, but sufficiently encapsulates the activation properties for potential use in regional and global modeling simulations, and possible application in developing remote sensing retrievals for ice nucleating particles. A calibration factor is introduced to account for the apparent underestimate (by approximately 3, on average) of the immersion freezing fractionmore »of mineral dust particles for CSU CFDC data processed at an RHw of 105% vs. maximum fractions active at higher RHw. Instrumental factors that affect activation behavior vs. RHw in CFDC instruments remain to be fully explored in future studies. Nevertheless, the use of this calibration factor is supported by comparison to ice activation data obtained for the same aerosols from Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics of the Atmosphere (AIDA) expansion chamber cloud parcel experiments. Further comparison of the new parameterization, including calibration correction, to predictions of the immersion freezing surface active site density parameterization for mineral dust particles, developed separately from AIDA experimental data alone, shows excellent agreement for data collected in a descent through a Saharan aerosol layer. These studies support the utility of laboratory measurements to obtain atmospherically relevant data on the ice nucleation properties of dust and other particle types, and suggest the suitability of considering all mineral dust as a single type of ice nucleating particle as a useful first-order approximation in numerical modeling investigations.« less