CE01 - Terre solide et enveloppes fluides

Microphysical Process Characterization of Mixed Phase Clouds in the European Arctic – MPC2

Submission summary

(MPC)2 (Microphysical Process Characterization of Mixed Phase Clouds in the European Arctic) project comprehensively aims at reaching a better understanding of key climate processes in the Arctic, the region experiencing the most drastic changes, and where uncertainties in projections of future changes are the largest. The predictive capability of Arctic to respond to climate change is severely hampered by a lack of understanding on key processes related to clouds and their interactions with atmospheric aerosol particles. Clouds play a crucial role to regulate the surface energy budget with competing warming and cooling effects. However the spatial and seasonal distribution of these clouds, their precise radiative impact and precipitation frequency are poorly understood due to the limited availability of detailed in situ measurements and the limitation of satellite remote sensing techniques. The life cycle of mixed phase clouds (MPC, coexistence of liquid droplets and ice crystals) results from a complex web of interactions between local microphysical, radiative, dynamical processes and larger scale environmental conditions. MPC are therefore challenging to model from local to global scales, and strong assumptions in the representation of the microphysical processes are required.
Within (MPC)2 project, we will investigate the physical processes involved in the life cycle of MPC in the Arctic by analysing high quality cloud data from airborne and spaceborne measurements combined with multi-scale modeling. It particularly focuses on the influence of large scale conditions (e.g. meteorological and surface conditions, air mass origins, referred hereafter as environmental conditions) on cloud microphysics and their impact on the radiative budget. We will also study the impact of the small-scale variability of thermodynamical properties and aerosols on ice nucleation mecanisms and liquid/ice partitioning in those clouds, with the goal of improving the representation of Arctic clouds and aerosol-cloud interactions in models.
(MPC)2 will enhance our knowledge on ice formation, droplet-ice interactions, phase partitioning and quantify the role of aerosols in the evolution of MPC. The proposed work mainly aims at building and analysing an unprecedented dataset of cloud measurements collected during already funded airborne campaigns in the European Arctic : ACLOUD in late Spring 2017 (Arctic CLoud Observations Using airborne measurements during polar Day), AFLUX in early Spring 2019 (Joint Aircraft campaign observing FLUXes of energy and momentum in the cloudy boundary layer over polar sea ice and ocean) and MOSAiC-ACA (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate – Airborne observations in the Central Arctic) in Summer 2020. These campaign measurements will be combined with IAOOS (Ice Atmosphere Ocean Observing System) buoys deployed in the Arctic from 2014 to 2020, spaceborne observations (POLDER, MODIS, IASI, CALIPSO, CloudSat) and multi-scale modelling (DESCAM, 3DCLOUD, Polar WRF-Chem) results. This work will take place in a broad collaborative framework with the research conducted within the (AC)3 (ArctiC Amplification : Climate Relevant Atmospheric and SurfaCe Processes and Feedback Mechanisms) trans-regional project and MOSAiC. (MPC)2 will contribute to the development of new cloud parameterizations on cloud phase partitioning under different environmental conditions for climate and mesoscale models and satellite retrievals. (MPC)2 will improve modelling capabilities in advance of upcoming international inter-comparisons and Arctic climate change assessments.

Project coordination

Olivier Jourdan (LaMP /CNRS)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LOA Laboratoire d'optique atmosphèrique
LATMOS/Sorbonne Université

Help of the ANR 443,738 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2023 - 42 Months

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