Analysis of Arctic Cloud Thermodynamic Phase Susceptibility to Aerosols.

Monday, 15 December 2014
Quentin Coopman1, Timothy J Garrett2, Jérôme Riedi3, Sabine Eckhardt4 and Andreas Stohl4, (1)University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, (2)Univ Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, (3)Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique (Lille), Villeneuve, France, (4)Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Atmospheric and Climate Research (ATMOS), Kjeller, Norway
Even if Arctic is remote from industrialized areas, this region is influenced by elevated concentration of aerosols from mid-latitude, especially during winter. This is mainly due to the decrease of wet scavenging and the surface temperature inversion, both acting as a trap for the atmospheric particles. Aerosols play a key role on cloud’s microphysics, because they act as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) or Ice Nuclei (IN). Both nuclei influence directly on cloud’s presence and formation, potentially impacting also thermodynamic phase transition through different mechanisms, which in turn affect cloud radiative properties and forcing.

In our study we used two sets of data: i) A combination of POLDER-3/PARASOL and MODIS/AQUA satellite measurements to retrieve cloud properties; ii) The numerical transport model FLEXPART which use carbon monoxide tracer to inform on concentration of biomass burning and anthropogenic aerosols. The main advantage of combining these two sets of data is to obtain large statistics about clouds that have been potentially influenced by varied concentrations of aerosol.

We report here results of a study in which we analyze potential interaction between clouds and aerosols from biomass burning and anthropogenic sources. We first analyzed the temperature at which thermodynamic phase transition is most likely to occur according to the types and concentrations of aerosols. It is shown a correlation between the temperature of thermodynamic phase transition and aerosols concentrations and type. Unlike we could have expected from previous studies, preliminary analyses suggest that aerosols from anthropogenic sources accelerate the liquid-ice transition whereas aerosols from biomass burning inhibit the transition from water to ice. Different hypotheses can be responsible for this observation and we analyze parameters that can play a role on the transition temperature shift and how aerosols act as an inhibitor or activator of the phase transition, for example their impact on the effective radius. Moreover in this study we add data from ECMF, which give information on atmospheric state. So we can constrain our results on different parameters as the specific humidity or the vertical velocity, which enable to be ride of a bias from atmospheric parameters and ensure the aerosol-nature impact.