An Empirical Parameterization of Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation for Multiple...

Phillips, V. T. J., P. J. DeMott, and C. Andronache (2008), An Empirical Parameterization of Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation for Multiple Chemical Species of Aerosol, J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 2757-2783, doi:10.1175/2007JAS2546.1.

A novel, flexible framework is proposed for parameterizing the heterogeneous nucleation of ice within clouds. It has empirically derived dependencies on the chemistry and surface area of multiple species of ice nucleus (IN) aerosols. Effects from variability in mean size, spectral width, and mass loading of aerosols are represented via their influences on surface area. The parameterization is intended for application in largescale atmospheric and cloud models that can predict 1) the supersaturation of water vapor, which requires a representation of vertical velocity on the cloud scale, and 2) concentrations of a variety of insoluble aerosol species.

Observational data constraining the parameterization are principally from coincident field studies of IN activity and insoluble aerosol in the troposphere. The continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) was deployed. Aerosol species are grouped by the parameterization into three basic types: dust and metallic compounds, inorganic black carbon, and insoluble organic aerosols.

Further field observations inform the partitioning of measured IN concentrations among these basic groups of aerosol. The scarcity of heterogeneous nucleation, observed at humidities well below water saturation for warm subzero temperatures, is represented. Conventional and inside-out contact nucleation by IN is treated with a constant shift of their freezing temperatures.

The empirical parameterization is described and compared with available field and laboratory observations and other schemes. Alternative schemes differ by up to five orders of magnitude in their freezing fractions (Ϫ30°C). New knowledge from future observational advances may be easily assimilated into the scheme’s framework. The essence of this versatile framework is the use of data concerning atmospheric IN sampled directly from the troposphere.

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Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)