Marine and terrestrial influences on ice nucleating particles during continuous springtime measurements in an Arctic oilfield location

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Aerosols that serve as ice nucleating particles (INPs) have the potential to modulate cloud microphysical properties and can therefore impact cloud radiative forcing (CRF) and precipitation formation processes. In remote regions such as the Arctic, aerosol-cloud interactions are severely understudied yet may have significant implications for the surface energy budget and its impact on sea ice and snow surfaces. Further, uncertainties in model representations of heterogeneous ice nucleation are a significant hindrance to simulating Arctic mixed-phase cloud processes. We present results from a campaign called INPOP (Ice Nucleating Particles at Oliktok Point), which took place at a US Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (DOE ARM) facility in the northern Alaskan Arctic. Three time-and size-resolved aerosol impactors were deployed from 1 March to 31 May 2017 for offline ice nucleation and chemical analyses and were co-located with routine measurements of aerosol number and size. The largest particles (i.e., ≥3 μ m or coarse mode) were the most efficient INPs by inducing freezing at the warmest temperatures. During periods with snow-and ice-covered surfaces, coarse mode INP concentrations were very low (maximum of 6 × 10 -4 L -1 at-15 °C), but higher concentrations of warm-temperature INPs were observed during late May (maximum of 2 × 10 -2 L -1 at 15 °C). These higher concentrations were attributed to air masses originating from over open Arctic Ocean water and tundra surfaces. To our knowledge, these results represent the first INP characterization measurements in an Arctic oilfield location and demonstrate strong influences from mineral and marine sources despite the relatively high springtime pollution levels. Ultimately, these results can be used to evaluate the anthropogenic and natural influences on aerosol composition and Arctic cloud properties.




Creamean, J. M., Kirpes, R. M., Pratt, K. A., Spada, N. J., Maahn, M., De Boer, G., … China, S. (2018). Marine and terrestrial influences on ice nucleating particles during continuous springtime measurements in an Arctic oilfield location. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(24), 18023–18042.

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