Quantifying the effects of small ice crystals on long and short wave radiation has been a controversial and unsolved problem in cloud microphysics for the last 20 years. This information is needed to model cloud effects on radiative transfer and to better represent feedbacks in General Circulation Models (GCMs). Aircraft data suggests that the contributions of small ice crystals to the total concentration could be overestimated since large ice crystals are shattered into several hundred smaller ones by the scattering probes used to measure small crystals. A study by DOE scientists examined the impact of different assumptions about small ice crystal concentrations using the Community Climate Model (CAM-3). These studies revealed that the formation of ice nuclei from water droplet evaporation can be used to explain why ice crystal concentrations are greater than the concentration of particles that provide the nucleation for the growth of ice concentrations. The data collected has contributed to improved algorithms for satellite and ground lidar observations. Understanding these processes will lead to better representation of cloud processes and more accurate predictive capabilities of climate models particularly relating to cloud processes.
Cohen, E.A., G.G. Mace, G. McFarquhar and C. Schwartz, 2006: Observations of cirrus evolution from convective outflow during the Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE). Eos Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract A41A-0002.
Freer, M., and G.M. McFarquhar (2008), Development and comparison of cloud particle size distribution fitting and analysis techniques. Proc. 18th ARM Science Team Meeting, Available from [PDF]
Sednev, I., S. Menon, G. M. McFarquhar, and A. D. Del Genio (2008), Simulating mixed-phase Arctic stratus clouds: sensitivity to ice initiation mechanisms, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 11755-11819.
Contact: Rickey Petty and Wanda Ferrell, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5548 and (301) 903-3281
SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER
Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]
Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]
Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]
Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.
Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
List all highlights (possible long download time)