Cloud-Nucleating Particles Over the Southern Ocean in a Changing Climate

Twohy, Cynthia H. ; DeMott, Paul J. ; Russell, Lynn M. ; Toohey, Darin W. ; Rainwater, Bryan ; Geiss, Roy ; Sanchez, Kevin J. ; Lewis, Savannah ; Roberts, Gregory C. ; Humphries, Ruhi S. ; McCluskey, Christina S. ; Moore, Kathryn A. ; Selleck, Paul W. ; Keywood, Melita D. ; Ward, Jason P. ; McRobert, Ian M.

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Stratocumulus clouds over the Southern Ocean have fewer droplets and are more likely to exist in the predominately supercooled phase than clouds at similar temperatures over northern oceans. One likely reason is that this region has few continental and anthropogenic sources of cloud-nucleating particles that can form droplets and ice. In this work, we present an overview of aerosol particle types over the Southern Ocean, including new measurements made below, in and above clouds in this region. These measurements and others indicate that biogenic sulfur-based particles >0.1 ?m diameter contribute the majority of cloud condensation nuclei number concentrations in summer. Ice nucleating particles tend to have more organic components, likely from sea-spray. Both types of cloud nucleating particles may increase in a warming climate likely to have less sea ice, more phytoplankton activity, and stronger winds over the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. Taken together, clouds over the Southern Ocean may become more reflective and partially counter the region's expected albedo decrease due to diminishing sea ice. However, detailed modeling studies are needed to test this hypothesis due to the complexity of ocean-cloud-climate feedbacks in the region.</p>

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