Clouds covering the Arctic Ocean are unique in that they can persist for long periods despite being thermodynamically unstable, because they are composed of ice crystals and liquid droplets (mixed phase clouds). Understanding the phenomenon of those persisting clouds is important as mixed phase clouds strongly affect the regional surface energy budget and influence the ice mass budget, as well as the surface water melt and run-off.
Ice crystals in the arctic clouds can only form on existing microscopic particles called ice nucleating particles (INPs). These INPs are thought to be emitted by the oceans in northern latitudes. In our project, we will sample, identify and quantify these microscopic particles coming from the ocean water and the ocean surface, and determine how they partition into the marine atmosphere in the arctic region. We will do this by sampling the air above the ocean water while circumnavigating Greenland.