Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2022-28
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2022-28
 
15 Feb 2022
15 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal AMT. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

A study of Mie scattering modelling for mixed phase Polar Stratospheric Clouds

Francesco Cairo1, Terry Deshler2, Luca Di Liberto1, Andrea Scoccione3, and Marcel Snels1 Francesco Cairo et al.
  • 1Istituto di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, Italy
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie,Wyoming, USA
  • 3Centro Operativo per la Meteorologia, Aeronautica Militare, Pomezia, Italy

Abstract. Mie scattering codes are used to study the optical properties of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC). Backscattering and extinction can be computed once the particle size distribution (PSD) is known and a suitable refractive index is assumed. However, PSCs often appear as external mixtures of Supercooled Ternary Solution (STS) droplets, solid Nitric Acid Trihydrate (NAT) and possibly ice particles, making questionable the use of Mie theory with a single refractive index and with the underlying assumption of spherical scatterers. Here we consider a set of fifteen coincident measurements of PSC above McMurdo Station, Antarctica, by ground-based lidar and balloon-borne Optical Particle Counters (OPC), and in situ observations taken by a laser backscattersonde and an OPC during four balloon stratospheric flights from Kiruna, Sweden. This unique dataset of microphysical and optical observations allows to test the performances of Mie theory under fairly reasonable corrections when aspherical scatterers are present.

Here we consider particles as STS if their radius is below a certain threshold value Rth and NAT or possibly ice if above it. The refractive indexes are assumed known from literature. Moreover, the Mie result for solid particles are reduced by a factor C < 1, which takes into account the backscattering depression expected from the asphericity. Finally, we consider the fraction X of the backscattering from the aspherical part of the PSD as polarized, and the remaining (1-X) as depolarized. The three parameters Rth, C and X of our model are chosen to provide the best match with the observed optical backscattering and depolarization. The comparison of the calculations with the measures is satisfactory for the backscattering but not for the depolarization, and possible causes are discussed. The results of this work help to understand the limits of the application of Mie theory in modeling the optical response of particles of different composition and morphology.

Francesco Cairo et al.

Status: closed (peer review stopped)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Francesco Cairo, 07 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Francesco Cairo, 13 Apr 2022
  • EC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Omar Torres, 13 Apr 2022
  • EC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Omar Torres, 20 Apr 2022

Status: closed (peer review stopped)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Francesco Cairo, 07 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Francesco Cairo, 13 Apr 2022
  • EC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Omar Torres, 13 Apr 2022
  • EC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-28', Omar Torres, 20 Apr 2022

Francesco Cairo et al.

Francesco Cairo et al.

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Short summary
We study Mie theory on aspherical scatterers, computing on coincident measurements of PSC by lidar and Particle Counters, the backscatter and depolarization of mixed phase PSC. WParticles are assumed solid if larger than R; for these, Mie results are reduced by C < 1 and only a common fraction X < 1 of the backscattering is polarized. We retrieve R, C and X. The match of model and measurement is good for backscattering, poor for depolarization. The hypothesis on X may be not fulfilled.