Preprints
https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2405.11545
https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2405.11545
05 Jun 2024
 | 05 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Dynamical regimes of CCN activation in adiabatic air parcels

Manuel Santos Gutiérrez, Mickaël David Chekroun, and Ilan Koren

Abstract. Ubiquitous, yet elusive to a complete understanding: Tiny, warm clouds with faint visual signatures play a critical role in Earth's energy balance. These "twilight clouds," as they are sometimes called, form under weak updraft conditions. Their constituent particles exist in a precarious state, teetering between hazy wisps and activated droplets. This delicate thermodynamic balance creates a limited reservoir of supersaturation, which activated droplets readily consume. Our research presents a novel approach, solving coupled equations for particle growth (Köhler's equation) and supersaturation change. This reveals previously unconsidered activation states for these clouds. Additionally, the analysis predicts conditions where particles can exhibit self-sustained oscillations between haze and activated droplet states.

Manuel Santos Gutiérrez, Mickaël David Chekroun, and Ilan Koren

Status: open (until 15 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Manuel Santos Gutiérrez, Mickaël David Chekroun, and Ilan Koren
Manuel Santos Gutiérrez, Mickaël David Chekroun, and Ilan Koren

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Short summary
This letter explores a novel approach for the formation of cloud droplets in rising adiabatic air parcels. Our approach combines microphysical equations accounting for moisture, updrafts and concentration of aerosols. Our analysis reveals three regimes: A) Low moisture and high concentration can hinder activation; B) Droplets can activate and stabilize above critical sizes, and C) sparse clouds can have droplets exhibiting activation and deactivation cycles.