Constraining the Impact of Dust-Driven Droplet Freezing on Climate Using Cloud-Top-Phase Observations
- Journal Article
Despite advances in our understanding of ice-nucleating particles, the effect of cloud glaciation on the Earth's radiation balance has remained poorly constrained. Particularly, dust ice nuclei are believed to enhance cloud glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. We used satellite observations of the hemispheric and seasonal contrast in cloud top phase to assess the dust-driven droplet freezing in a climate model. The required freezing efficiency for dust ice nuclei suggests that climate models glaciate too few clouds through immersion droplet freezing. After tuning, the model leads to more realistic cloud-top-phase contrasts and a dust-driven glaciation effect of 0.14 ± 0.13 W m−2 between 30°N and 60°N. Observations of cloud-top-phase contrasts provide a strong constraint for ice formation in mixed-phase clouds and may provide a weak constraint for the associated impact on radiation and precipitation. Future studies should therefore consider both the mean-state cloud-phase partitioning and cloud-phase contrasts to achieve a more accurate simulation of dust-driven cloud glaciation. Show more
Journal / seriesGeophysical Research Letters
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
Organisational unit03690 - Lohmann, Ulrike / Lohmann, Ulrike
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