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Atmospheric Sciences


The effect of aerosols on the properties of clouds is a large source of uncertainty in predictions of weather and climate. These aerosol-cloud interactions depend critically on the ability of aerosol particles to form cloud droplets. A challenge in modeling aerosol-cloud interactions is the representation of interactions between turbulence and cloud microphysics. Turbulent mixing leads to small-scale fluctuations in water vapor and temperature that are unresolved in large-scale atmospheric models. To quantify the impact of turbulent fluctuations on cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation, we used a high-resolution Large Eddy Simulation of a convective cloud chamber to drive particle-based cloud microphysics simulations. We show small-scale fluctuations strongly impact CCN activity. Once activated, the relatively long timescales of evaporation compared to fluctuations causes droplets to persist in subsaturated regions, which further increases droplet concentrations.

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Publication Title

Geophysical Research Letters

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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