Ice crystal number concentration estimates from lidar–radar satellite remote sensing – Part 2: Controls on the ice crystal number concentration

Abstract : The ice crystal number concentration (Ni) is a key property of ice clouds, both radiatively and microphysically. However, due to sparse in-situ measurements of ice cloud properties, the controls on the Ni have remained difficult to determine. As more advanced treatments of ice clouds are included in global models, it is becoming increasingly necessary to develop strong observational constraints on the processes involved. This work uses the DARDAR-LIM Ni retrieval described in part one to investigate the controls of the Ni at a global scale. The retrieved clouds are separated by type. The effects of temperature, proxies for in-cloud updraught and aerosol concentrations are investigated. Variations in the cloud top Ni (Ni(top)) consistent with both homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation are observed and along with a possible role of aerosol both increasing and decreasing the Ni(top) depending on the prevailing meteorological situation. Away from the cloud top, the Ni displays a different sensitivity to these controlling factors, providing a possible explanation to the low Ni sensitivity to temperature and INP observed in previous in-situ studies. This satellite dataset provides a new way of investigating the response of cloud properties to meteorological and aerosol controls. The results presented in this work increase our confidence in the retrieved Ni and will form the basis for further study into the processes influencing ice and mixed phase clouds.
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Edward Gryspeerdt, Odran Sourdeval, Johannes Quaas, Julien Delanoë, Martina Krämer, et al.. Ice crystal number concentration estimates from lidar–radar satellite remote sensing – Part 2: Controls on the ice crystal number concentration. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, European Geosciences Union, 2018, 18 (19), pp.14351-14370. ⟨10.5194/acp-18-14351-2018⟩. ⟨insu-01756056⟩

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