2nd Symposium on Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Interactions
12th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry


Technological advances in airborne instrumentation: Aerosol and cloud particle characterization (Invited Speaker)

Darrel Baumgardner, Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico

The formation of clouds from the activation of cloud condensation and ice nuclei and the subsequent processing and transformation of aerosol particles by cloud droplets and ice crystals are the most important atmospheric cycles that control hydrological processes and mitigates climate change. The complexity of the interactions between aerosols and clouds continues to challenge our attempts to simulate the physical process that govern these interactions and predict their impact on the formation of precipitation and how they act to counter global warming.

One of the chief obstacles to advances in understanding is the limited information on those processes that occur on a very small scales but produces effects that propagate to the medium and large scale. Examples of such processes are the activation of CCN and IN as a function of aerosol properties and their environment, the removal of aerosols by nucleation and inertial scavenging, the transformation of aerosols from hydrophobic to hydrophilic via preactivation or recycling through clouds, and the transport and redistribution of aerosols via cloud dynamics.

Information on these processes must be gathered using aircraft that are instruments with sensors that can measure the physical, chemical and optical properties of aerosol and cloud properties, as well as precursor gases that contribute to the formation and evolution. In the last ten years there has been a revolution in technology for making these types of measurements, technology that is faster, more accurate and more capable of providing detailed information on particle characteristics.

This presentation will present a summary of the most current, state-of-the-art instrumentation that has been recently deployed on field programs and some of the more significant results that have evolved from the use of these instruments. In addition, there are a number of new developments that have yet to be fully tested in the field but promise even more exciting possibilities in the future.

Recorded presentation

Joint Session 15, Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN)
Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 1:30 PM-3:00 PM, B316

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