Scattering Ice Clouds

Helen Smith

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

210 Downloads (Pure)


The 2013 meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the coupling of clouds to the Earths climate is one of the biggest uncertainties faced in predicting climate change today. Cirrus clouds are of particular interest because the extensive variability in particle size, shape and complexity poses a number of challenges in the accurate modelling of optical properties. The dependence of the single-scattering properties on particle shape demand accurate representation of the crystal geometries in scattering models, geometries which can vary from simple hexagonal prisms to complex multi-branched aggregates. 
This work, presented as a series of papers, uses laboratory studies to investigate the single scattering properties of ice crystals. Of particular focus here are columns with internal cavities. The first paper investigates the phase function, P11 and asymmetry parameter, g of varying crystal habits, whilst the second paper focuses on polarised scattering. One of the main findings is the difference in internal structure between hollow columns grown at warmer temperatures (􀀀7°C) and those grown at colder temperatures (􀀀30°C). Measurements were used to create new particle geometries for use in scattering models. The third paper makes use of findings from papers 1 & 2 to create an optical parametrization for cirrus, utilizing the new particle geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
  • Webb, Ann, Supervisor, External person
  • Connolly, Paul, Supervisor, External person
  • Baran, Anthony, Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Dec 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - Nov 2015


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