High concentrations of ice crystals in upper-tropospheric tropical clouds: is there a link to biomass and fossil fuel combustion?

Eight years of upper-tropospheric (UT) ice crystal measurements with the backscatter cloud probe (BCP), installed on commercial aircraft operated as part of the In-Service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS), have been analyzed to assess the frequency and characteristics of extreme ice crystal events (EIEs), defined in this study as encounters with clouds that have number concentrations exceeding 5000 L−1… The results from this study, which have been obtained from a large sample of measurements, have ramifications related to satellite measurement validation, weather forecasting and climate change.

- Graciela B. Raga, Darrel Baumgardner, Blanca Rios, Yanet Díaz-Esteban, Alejandro Jaramillo, Martin Gallagher, Bastien Sauvage, Pawel Wolff, and Gary Lloyd