Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2017

Publication Title

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

ISSN

1680-7324

Volume

17

Issue

23

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-14709-2017

Abstract

Due to their importance for the radiation budget, liquid-containing clouds are a key component of the Arctic climate system. Depending on season, they can cool or warm the near-surface air. The radiative properties of these clouds depend strongly on cloud drop sizes, which are governed in part by the availability of cloud condensation nuclei. Here, we investigate how cloud drop sizes are modified in the presence of local emissions from industrial facilities at the North Slope of Alaska. For this, we use aircraft in situ observations of clouds and aerosols from the 5th Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (DOE ARM) Program's Airborne Carbon Measurements (ACME-V) campaign obtained in summer 2015. Comparison of observations from an area with petroleum extraction facilities (Oliktok Point) with data from a reference area relatively free of anthropogenic sources (Utqiaġvik/Barrow) represents an opportunity to quantify the impact of local industrial emissions on cloud properties. In the presence of local industrial emissions, the mean effective radii of cloud droplets are reduced from 12.2 to 9.4 µm, which leads to suppressed drizzle production and precipitation. At the same time, concentrations of refractory black carbon and condensation nuclei are enhanced below the clouds. These results demonstrate that the effects of anthropogenic pollution on local climate need to be considered when planning Arctic industrial infrastructure in a warming environment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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