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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ice nucleating particles in the atmosphere : laboratory and field studies Yun, Jingwei


Aerosol particles can indirectly affect climate by acting as ice nucleating particles (INPs). Although INPs are only a small subset of atmospheric particles, they can have a significant impact on the hydrological cycle and climate by initiating ice formation in clouds and by modifying the lifetime and optical properties of clouds. Nevertheless, the properties of atmospheric INPs are not yet fully understood. Two important types of atmospheric INPs are mineral dust and biological particles. This dissertation focuses on these two types of INPs. During atmospheric transport, mineral dust particles can acquire water-soluble coatings, such as coatings containing alkali metal nitrates, inorganic acids, and organic solutes. As a result, the effects of alkali metal nitrates, inorganic acids, polyols, and carboxylic acids on the ice nucleation properties of potassium-rich feldspar (K-feldspar), a type of mineral dust INP in the atmosphere, were examined. In addition, daily INP concentrations at Alert, Nunavut, a ground site in the Canadian High Arctic, were determined for October and November of 2018, and the contribution of mineral dust and biological particles to the total INP population was evaluated for this location and time period. The results in this dissertation improve our understanding of the properties of mineral dust INPs under atmospheric conditions, as well as the concentration, composition, and source of INPs in the Arctic. This information should be useful for global and regional climate models.

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