Understanding ice nucleation by desert dust: Feldspar composition is important

Alex D. Harrison, Thomas F. Whale, G. J. Morris, Benjamin J. Murray.

Cloud droplets are capable of supercooling to below -38⁰C in the absence of ice nucleating particles (INPs). Mineral dusts aerosols are thought to play a key role in cloud glaciation, which can significantly impact both weather and climate (Murray et al., 2012). As the major component of dust is clay an emphasis has historically been placed on this mineral group in the search for efficient, atmospherically relevant INPs. A recent study has found that potassium feldspars are more effective nucleators than clay minerals and suggests that these minerals can potentially account for much of the ice nucleation activity observed globally (Atkinson et al., 2013). This study aims to build on this discovery by investigating the influence of feldspar composition on its ice nucleation efficiency.

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