Back to overview

Clues that decaying leaves enrich Arctic air with ice nucleating particles

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Conen F., Stopelli E., Zimmermann L.,
Project Biological ice nucleators at tropospheric cloud height (4th year)
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Atmospheric Environment
Volume (Issue) 129
Page(s) 91 - 94
Title of proceedings Atmospheric Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.01.027

Open Access


Decaying leaves from Arctic regions have previously been reported to produce large numbers of ice nucleating particles (IN). Their atmospheric relevance is unclear. Our initial observations at a coastal mountain observatory in northern Norway reveal a tripling in concentrations of IN active at −15 °C (IN-15) in oceanic air after about one day of passage over land (from 1.7 and 4.9 IN-15 m−3, to 9.6 and 12.2 IN-15 m−3). Analysis of leaf litter collected near the observatory supports the earlier report of numerous IN associated with leaf litter on the ground (2 ⋅ 102 IN-15 μg−1 litter particles < 5 μm). Together, both findings suggest that decaying leaves are a strong emission source of IN to the Arctic boundary layer.