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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics









This study investigates the interactions between cloud dynamics and aerosols in idealized large-eddy simulations (LES) of Arctic mixed-phase stratocumulus clouds (AMPS) observed at Oliktok Point, Alaska, in April 2015. This case was chosen because it allows the cloud to form in response to radiative cooling starting from a cloud-free state, rather than requiring the cloud ice and liquid to adjust to an initial cloudy state. Sensitivity studies are used to identify whether there are buffering feedbacks that limit the impact of aerosol perturbations. The results of this study indicate that perturbations in ice nucleating particles (INPs) dominate over cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) perturbations; i.e., an equivalent fractional decrease in CCN and INPs results in an increase in the cloud-top longwave cooling rate, even though the droplet effective radius increases and the cloud emissivity decreases. The dominant effect of ice in the simulated mixed-phase cloud is a thinning rather than a glaciation, causing the mixed-phase clouds to radiate as a grey body and the radiative properties of the cloud to be more sensitive to aerosol perturbations. It is demonstrated that allowing prognostic CCN and INPs causes a layering of the aerosols, with increased concentrations of CCN above cloud top and increased concentrations of INPs at the base of the cloud-driven mixed layer. This layering contributes to the maintenance of the cloud liquid, which drives the dynamics of the cloud system.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.