Relevance of biological particles in atmospheric ice formation at moderate supercooling
Third-party funded project
Project title Relevance of biological particles in atmospheric ice formation at moderate supercooling
Principal Investigator(s) Conen, Franz
Organisation / Research unit Departement Umweltwissenschaften,
Departement Umweltwissenschaften / Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
Project start 01.01.2017
Probable end 31.12.2019
Status Completed
Abstract

Most precipitation over continents begins with ice formation in clouds. Biological ice nucleating particles (INPs) probably dominate ice formation at moderate supercooling (> -15 °C), but direct evidence is extremely limited because of experimental challenges related to small INP number concentrations. Here, we propose two novel experiments to solve the issue. One includes three campaigns, four weeks each, at the high-altitude research station Jungfraujoch to sample and analyse cloud droplets and snow, account for riming and analyse normalised differential freezing spectra. The second experiment, including two four-week campaigns in northern Norway, will trace abundance and morphology of INPs from decaying leaf litter through the boundary layer to depositing ice crystals at cloud height. Both experiments have the potential to directly show whether biological particles play a relevant role in cloud ice formation or not.

Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Follow-up project of 1121996 Biological ice nucleators at tropospheric cloud height
2820399 Biological ice nucleators at tropospheric cloud height (4th year)
   

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