In this work, we present observational analyses that shed light on the interplay between aerosols and cloud microphysical and radiative properties in Northern Alaska. Using measurements from surface-based US Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program observatories at Oliktok Point and Utquiagvik (formerly Barrow) Alaska, together with airborne measurements, we will demonstrate:
1) That localized anthropogenic emissions resulting from oil and gas exploration activities in the Prudhoe Bay region notably impact cloud structure and thereby alter radiative transfer in the atmosphere, and
2) That aerosol loading plays a role in the modulation of precipitation from mixed-phase clouds, thereby impacting surface albedo and cloud dynamics
These findings can have implications on future Arctic climate states. For one, the expansion of industrial activities in the Arctic including energy exploration and shipping will increase localized pollution sources. Additionally, the anticipated expansion of open water areas in the central Arctic will contribute to emissions from the ocean surface which have the potential to alter precipitation characteristics.