Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-511
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-511
27 Feb 2024
 | 27 Feb 2024

Biological and dust aerosol as sources of ice nucleating particles in the Eastern Mediterranean: source apportionment, atmospheric processing and parameterization

Kunfeng Gao, Franziska Vogel, Romanos Foskinis, Stergios Vratolis, Maria I. Gini, Konstantinos Granakis, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Olga Zografou, Prodromos Fetfatzis, Alexis Berne, Alexandros Papagiannis, Konstantinos Eleftheridadis, Ottmar Möhler, and Athanasios Nenes

Abstract. Aerosol-cloud interactions in mixed-phase clouds (MPCs) are one of the most uncertain drivers of the hydrological cycle and climate change. A synergy of in-situ, remote sensing and modelling experiments was used to determine the source of ice nucleating particles (INPs) for MPCs at Mount Helmos in the Eastern Mediterranean. The influences of boundary layer turbulence, vertical aerosol distributions and meteorological conditions were also examined. When the observation site is in the Free Troposphere (FT), approximately 1 in 106 aerosol particles serve as INPs. The INP abundance spans three orders of magnitude and increases following the order of marine aerosols, continental aerosols, and finally, dust plumes. Biological particles are important INPs observed in continental and marine aerosols, whereas they play a secondary yet important role even during Saharan dust events. Air masses in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) show both enriched INP concentrations and higher proportion of INPs in comparison to total aerosol particles, different from cases in the FT. The presence of precipitations/clouds enriches INPs in the FT but decreases INPs in the PBL. Additionally, new INP parameterizations, incorporating the ratio of fluorescent-to-nonfluorescent or coarse-to-fine particles and predicting >90 % of the observed INPs within an uncertainty range of a factor of 10, exhibit better performance than current widely-used parameterizations, and allow ice formation in models to respond to variations in dust and biological particles. The improved parameterizations can help MPC formation simulations in regions with various INP sources or different regions with prevailing INP sources.

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Kunfeng Gao, Franziska Vogel, Romanos Foskinis, Stergios Vratolis, Maria I. Gini, Konstantinos Granakis, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Olga Zografou, Prodromos Fetfatzis, Alexis Berne, Alexandros Papagiannis, Konstantinos Eleftheridadis, Ottmar Möhler, and Athanasios Nenes

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-511', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-511', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Jun 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-511', Anonymous Referee #3, 11 Jun 2024
Kunfeng Gao, Franziska Vogel, Romanos Foskinis, Stergios Vratolis, Maria I. Gini, Konstantinos Granakis, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Olga Zografou, Prodromos Fetfatzis, Alexis Berne, Alexandros Papagiannis, Konstantinos Eleftheridadis, Ottmar Möhler, and Athanasios Nenes
Kunfeng Gao, Franziska Vogel, Romanos Foskinis, Stergios Vratolis, Maria I. Gini, Konstantinos Granakis, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Olga Zografou, Prodromos Fetfatzis, Alexis Berne, Alexandros Papagiannis, Konstantinos Eleftheridadis, Ottmar Möhler, and Athanasios Nenes

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Latest update: 12 Jul 2024
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Ice Nucleating Particles (INP) remain one of the biggest sources of uncertainty when mechanistically predicting the properties of clouds and precipitation in meteorological and earth system models. This paper presents the results from some comprehensive in situ and remote sensing measurements of these aerosols at a mountaintop site in the Eastern Mediterranean, performing a highly detailed study of their sources and properties, including those of dust and bioaerosol. The results are then used to generate new parameterisations that can be applied in large-scale models, thus providing an observational basis for improving future predictions.
Short summary
Ice nucleating particle concentrations (INPs) are required for correct predictions of clouds & precipitation in a changing climate and is poorly constrained in climate models. We unravel airmass & source contributions to INPs in the E.Mediterranean & find that biological particles are important regardless of origin (continental/marine – even during Saharan dust events). The parameterizations developed exhibit superior performance & enable models to consider biological particle effects on INPs.