Nitric acid particles in cold thick ice clouds observed at global scale: Link with lightning, temperature, and upper tropospheric water vapor

Abstract : Signatures of nitric acid particles (NAP) in cold thick ice clouds have been derived from satellite observations. Most NAP are detected in the tropics (9 to 20% of clouds with T < 202.5 K). Higher occurrences were found in the rare midlatitudes very cold clouds. NAP occurrence increases as cloud temperature decreases, and NAP are more numerous in January than July. Comparisons of NAP and lightning distributions show that lightning seems to be the main source of the NOx, which forms NAP in cold clouds over continents. Qualitative comparisons of NAP with upper tropospheric humidity distributions suggest that NAP may play a role in the dehydration of the upper troposphere when the tropopause is colder than 195 K.
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H. Chepfer, P. Minnis, P. Dubuisson, Marjolaine Chiriaco, S. Sun-Mack, et al.. Nitric acid particles in cold thick ice clouds observed at global scale: Link with lightning, temperature, and upper tropospheric water vapor. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2007, 112 (D5), pp.D05212. ⟨10.1029/2005JD006602⟩. ⟨hal-00431424⟩

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