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Observations of Fog-aerosol Interactions Over Central Greenland


Supercooled fogs can have an important radiative impact at the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet, but they are difficult to detect and our understanding of the factors that control their lifetime and radiative properties is limited by a lack of observations. This study demonstrates that spectrally resolved measurements of downwelling longwave radiation can be used to generate retrievals of fog microphysical properties (phase and particle effective radius) when the fog visible optical depth is greater than ∼0.25. For 12 cases of fog under otherwise clear skies between June and September 2019 at Summit Station in central Greenland, nine cases were mixed-phase. The mean ice particle (optically-equivalent sphere) effective radius was 24.0 ± 7.8 µm, and the mean liquid droplet effective radius was 14.0 ± 2.7 µm. These results, combined with measurements of aerosol particle number concentrations, provide evidence supporting the hypotheses that (a) low surface aerosol particle number concentrations can limit fog liquid water path, (b) fog can act to increase near-surface aerosol particle number concentrations through enhanced mixing, and (c) multiple fog events in quiescent periods gradually deplete near-surface aerosol particle number concentrations. Key Points Ground-based measurements of downwelling longwave radiation can be used to determine the microphysical properties optically thin fogs Almost all aerosol particles larger than 250 nm diameter are scavenged during 12 summer fog events in central Greenland Multiple pathways exist through which the aerosol population can impact fog development, and fog can modify the surface aerosol population

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Early Online Release
May 18, 2023
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Jgr Atmospheres
Published On
July 16, 2023
Publisher Name
Print Volume


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.