Aircraft measurements of ice-nucleating particles and their importance for mixed-phase clouds

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of Earth and Environment


This project aums to understand the sources and activity of particles which trigger ice formation in clouds. Ice formation in clouds is a major uncertainty in climate projections and short term weather forecasts, hence with major societal and commercial implications.
The overarching objective is to improve the understanding of the sources, processing and activity of ice nucleating particles relevant for mixed-phase clouds. The scientific objectives will involve:
1. Work with the Met Office to characterise and validate their new Ice Nucleus Counter (INC) against other INP devices, both in Leeds and at our partner's AIDA facility in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
2. Work in Leeds to develop the complementary filter based INP analysis and increase its sensitivity in order to quantify INP at temperatures relevant for the initiation of secondary ice production and distinguish between biological and mineral ice nucleating materials.
3. Measure and characterise the occurrence of INP in the WesCon field campaign which has a focus on convective clouds in southern England. This will involve taking part in research flights on the FAAM BAe-146 aircraft in summer 2023.
4. Measure and characterise INP relevant for cold-air outbreaks as part of our ongoing programme of research in this area.
5. Work with the modellers in WesCon to define primary ice production using the results from the campaign.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S007458/1 31/08/2019 29/09/2027
2743363 Studentship NE/S007458/1 30/09/2022 30/03/2026 Joseph Robinson