Development of a new drop freezing technique for quantifying the concentration of ice nucleating particles in the atmosphere
In the atmosphere, ice plays an important role in initiating precipitation, altering cloud radiative properties and lifetime. As such, understanding the mechanisms responsible for ice formation is of utmost importance for quantifying the expected changes in a warming climate.
Ice formation or nucleation can occur either homogeneously (at temperatures below -38 °C) or heterogeneously due to the presence of a so-called ice nucleating particle. Yet the global distribution and concentration of ice nucleating particles remains uncertain. Therefore, the goal of this project is to help develop and characterize a new method for quantifying the concentration of ice nucleating particles.
The proposed project will involve characterization experiments involving pure water and concentrations of solutions with well-established freezing temperatures. Once the characterization is complete, the quantity of ice nucleating particles in field collected samples of air, cloud water and snow will be determined.
The prospective candidate should have basic programming skills (Matlab or Python is preferred) and an interest in laboratory-based measurements. Additionally, the prospective candidate is expected to have an interest and the ability to conduct field measurements in remote locations such as the Arctic or in Alpine environments. The project will begin in Fall 2019 but will only begin in earnest at the beginning of Spring 2020.