Turbulence creates ice in clouds

phys.org | 10/16/2019 | Staff
tictac399 (Posted by) Level 3
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Vertical air motions increase ice formation in mixed-phase clouds. This correlation was predicted theoretically for a long time, but can now be observed for the first time in nature. This research was published by a team from Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) in Leipzig in npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, an open access journal published by Nature Research.

Using laser and radar equipment, the team measured vertical air velocity and ice formation in thin mixed-phase clouds. Such clouds contain ice particles, water vapour as well as supercooled liquid droplets. The results from Leipzig could help to map an important part of the water cycle better in the weather and climate models in the future by ice formation in clouds.

Formation - Ice - Clouds - Core - Element

The formation of ice in clouds is a core element of the water cycle on Earth. It is usually difficult to isolate the ice formation process in order to study it individually because the interaction of aerosol particles, air motion and microphysical processes in clouds is too complex. Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand these processes in detail in order to better map this mechanism in weather and climate models.

The cloud researchers concentrated on a less spectacular and therefore less considered form of clouds in order to exclude other processes than primary ice formation. They investigated large cloud fields at an altitude of about 2 to 8 kilometres with a vertical extent of only...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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