Environmental & Climate Sciences Department Seminar

"The Influence of Aerosol Chemical Composition, Morphology, and Phase State on Water and Ice Cloud Particle Formation"

Presented by Yue Zhang, North Carolina State, MIT, and Aerodyne

Thursday, May 30, 2019, 11:00 am — Large Conference Room, Bldg. 490

Aerosols and clouds effect Earth's radiative balance, and aerosol-cloud interactions are major sources of uncertainties in predicting future climate. The climate effects of water and ice cloud particles formed from atmospheric particulate matter are not well understood due to the complex physical and chemical properties of these aerosols. Measurements from fixed sites and field campaigns have shown that organic aerosols (OA) dominate the non-refractory aerosols in the free troposphere where clouds typically form, and cloud water and ice cloud residue both show the presence of organic materials. Despite the abundance of OA, their effects on both cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nucleation (IN) are not fully understood and even controversial. To probe into these issues, the CCN and IN properties of complex inorganic-organic aerosol mixtures that simulate ambient conditions were measured with a cloud condensation nuclei counter (CCNC, DMT, Inc.) and a spectrometer for ice nucleation (SPIN, DMT, Inc.) at a variety of laboratory conditions. Our studies suggest that the composition of the organic-containing aerosols, as well as their morphology and phase state, jointly impact their cloud forming potential. The results highlight the importance of combining aerosol physical and chemical properties to accurately understand cloud particle formation processes and their implications on the climate.

Hosted by: Ernie Lewis

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