Light Scattering by Ice Crystals Containing Air Bubbles

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jianing Zhang, R. Lee Panetta, Ping Yang and Lei Bi, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, United States
The radiative effects of ice clouds are often difficult to estimate accurately, but are very important for interpretation of observations and for climate modeling. Our understanding of these effects is primarily based on scattering calculations, but due to the variability in ice habit it is computationally difficult to determine the required scattering and absorption properties, and the difficulties are only compounded by the need to include consideration of air and carbon inclusions of the sort frequently observed in collected samples. Much of the previous work on effects of inclusions in ice particles on scattering properties has been conducted with variants of geometric optics methods. We report on simulations of scattering by ice crystals with enclosed air bubbles using the pseudo-spectral time domain method (PSTD) and improved geometric optics method (IGOM). A Bouncing Ball Model (BBM) is proposed as a parametrization of air bubbles, and the results are compared with Monte Carlo radiative transfer calculations. Consistent with earlier studies, we find that air inclusions lead to a smoothing of variations in the phase function, weakening of halos, and a reduction of backscattering. We extend these studies by examining the effects of the particular arrangement of a fixed number of bubbles, as well as the effects of splitting a given number of bubbles into a greater number of smaller bubbles with the same total volume fraction. The result shows that the phase function will not change much for stochastic distributed air bubbles. It also shows that local maxima of phase functions are smoothed out for backward directions, when we break bubbles into small ones, single big bubble scatter favors more forward scattering than multi small internal scatters.