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Supersaturation in the Wake of a Precipitating Hydrometeor and Its Impact on Aerosol Activation

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Bhowmick,  Taraprasad
Laboratory for Fluid Physics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Wang,  Yong
Laboratory for Fluid Physics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Bagheri,  Gholamhossein
Laboratory for Fluid Physics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Bodenschatz,  Eberhard
Laboratory for Fluid Physics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bhowmick, T., Wang, Y., Iovieno, M., Bagheri, G., & Bodenschatz, E. (2020). Supersaturation in the Wake of a Precipitating Hydrometeor and Its Impact on Aerosol Activation. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(22): e2020GL091179, pp. 1-10. doi:10.1029/2020GL091179.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-9FDD-E
Abstract
The activation of aerosols impacts the life cycle of a cloud. A detailed understanding is necessary for reliable climate prediction. Recent laboratory experiments demonstrate that aerosols can be activated in the wake of precipitating hydrometeors. However, many quantitative aspects of this wake‐induced activation of aerosols remain unclear. Here, we report a detailed numerical investigation of the activation potential of wake‐induced supersaturation. By Lagrangian tracking of aerosols, we show that a significant fraction of aerosols are activated in the supersaturated wake. These “lucky aerosols” are entrained in the wake's vortices and reside in the supersaturated environment sufficiently long to be activated. Our analyses show that this wake‐induced activation of aerosols can contribute to the life cycle of the clouds.