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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-637
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-637
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

The Impact of CCN Concentrations on the Thermodynamic and Turbulent State of Arctic Mixed-Phase Clouds

Jan Chylik1, Stephan Mertes2, and Roel A. J. Neggers1 Jan Chylik et al.
  • 1Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Germany
  • 2Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. Impacts of aerosol on mixed-phase cloud evolution play a potentially important role in Arctic climate, but remain poorly understood. The way in which aerosol, clouds and turbulence interact, is speculated to significantly modify the cloud evolution. There has been an increasing number of field observations of the ice clouds in Arctic, however it has proven hard to gain insight into these complex interactions using measurements alone. This model study aims to help filling this gap in the current understanding of low-level Arctic clouds, by combining high resolution simulations with new field campaign data. The main focus is on the impact of the cloud condensation nuclei concentration (CCN) on the properties of cloud and mixed-layer turbulence in an~evolving boundary layer. We configure semi-idealised model scenarios based on the weather situation observed over open ocean during two research flights of the ACLOUD campaign, which took place over Fram Strait northwest of Svalbard. A demi-Lagrangian frame of reference is adopted, with the model domain following low level air masses and the large-scale forcings derived from weather model analyses and short-range forecasts. Adjustments in the initial state are made based on comparison to dropsonde data. The simulations reproduce the observed general structure of the cloud-bearing Arctic mixed layer. Results further show that while the ice phase forms just a fraction of the mass of cloud water, it is responsible for most of the precipitation, in line with previous observational and LES studies. A lower initial CCN concentration generally results into a faster glaciation of the cloud, leading to a faster removal of the cloud water, and also affects the vertical structure of turbulence. Implications for radiative studies of clouds for the purpose of Arctic Amplification are discussed.

Jan Chylik et al.
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Jan Chylik et al.
Data sets

semi-idelalised LES of RF05 and RF20 J. Chylik, R. Neggers, and S. Mertes https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3271773

Model code and software

semi-idelalised LES of RF05 and RF20 - DALES model extension J. Chylik and R. Neggers https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3271773

Jan Chylik et al.
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Latest update: 07 Dec 2019
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Short summary
Arctic low-levels clouds play an important role in the Arctic warming, however they are not properly represented in weather and climate models. Among other issues, there are difficulties with balance of ice and liquid in clouds, as well as interaction between clouds and aerosols. In this model study, we focus on the way that variation in the concentration of aerosols affect the evolution of clouds and the turbulence. Model scenarios are based on the observations during the ACLOUD campaign.
Arctic low-levels clouds play an important role in the Arctic warming, however they are not...
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