A Model for Absorption of Solar Radiation by Mineral Dust within Liquid Cloud Drops

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Abstract

Models of light scattering and absorption that consider the effect of insoluble inclusions present within liquid cloud droplets may assume the inclusion occupies random locations within the droplet. In certain cases, external forces can lead to certain orientations or alignments that are strongly preferred. Within this modeling study, we consider one such case in which an insoluble mineral dust inclusion (ρ = 2.6 g / cm3) is placed within a liquid water drop (ρ = 1.0 g /cm3). Such an instance mimics mineral dust aerosols being incorporated within cloud drops in Earth’s atmosphere. Model results suggest super-micron mineral dust settles to the bottom of cloud droplets. However, Brownian motion largely randomizes the position of sub-micron mineral dust within the droplet. The inherent organization of the particles that result has important consequences for light absorption by mineral dust when present within a cloud drop. Modeled results suggest light absorption efficiency may
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
StatePublished - Oct 2015

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