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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 01 Oct 2018

Research article | 01 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Concentrations, composition, and sources of ice-nucleating particles in the Canadian High Arctic during spring 2016

Meng Si1, Erin Evoy1, Jingwei Yun1, Yu Xi1, Sarah Hanna1, Alina Chivulescu2, Kevin Rawlings2, Andrew Platt2, Daniel Kunkel3, Peter Hoor3, Sangeeta Sharma2, W. Richard Leaitch2, and Allan K. Bertram1 Meng Si et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada
  • 2Climate Research Divisions, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, ON, M3H 5T4, Canada
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, 55128, Germany

Abstract. Modelling studies suggest that the climate and the hydrological cycle are sensitive to the concentrations of ice-nucleating particles (INPs). However, the concentrations, composition, and sources of INPs in the atmosphere remain uncertain. Here we report daily concentrations of INPs and tracers of mineral dust (Al, Fe, Ti, and Mn), sea spray aerosol (Na+ and Cl), and anthropogenic aerosol (Zn, Pb, NO3, NH4+, and non-sea-salt SO42−) at Alert, Canada during a three-week campaign in March 2016. The average INP concentrations measured in the immersion freezing mode were approximately 0.005±0.002L−1, 0.020±0.004L−1, and 0.186±0.040L−1 at −15ºC, −20ºC, and −25ºC, respectively. These concentrations are within the range of concentrations measured previously in the Arctic at ground level or sea level. Mineral dust tracers all correlated with INPs at −25ºC (correlation coefficient, R, ranged from 0.70 to 0.76), suggesting that mineral dust was a major contributor to the INP population. Particle dispersion modelling suggests that the source of the mineral dust may have been the long-range transported dust from the Gobi desert. Sea spray tracers were anti-correlated with INPs at −25ºC (R=−0.56). In addition, INP concentrations at −25ºC divided by mass concentrations of aluminum were anti-correlated with sea spray tracers (R=−0.51 and −0.55 for Na+ and Cl, respectively), suggesting that the components of sea spray aerosol suppressed the ice-nucleating ability of mineral dust in the immersion freezing mode. Correlations between INPs and anthropogenic aerosol tracers were not statistically significant. These results will improve our understanding of INPs in the Arctic during spring.

Meng Si et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Meng Si et al.
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Short summary
We investigated the importance of mineral dust, sea spray aerosol, and anthropogenic aerosol to the ice nucleating particle (INP) population in the Canadian Arctic during spring 2016. The results suggest that mineral dust transported from the Gobi desert was a major source of the INP population studied, and that sea spray aerosol decreased the ice nucleating ability of mineral dust. The results should be useful for testing and improving models used to predict INPs and climate in the Arctic.
We investigated the importance of mineral dust, sea spray aerosol, and anthropogenic aerosol to...