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Journal Articles Geophysical Research Letters Year : 2024

Resolving Convection of CO2 Ice Clouds in the Martian Polar Nights

Abstract

Martian CO2 ice clouds are intriguing features, representing a rare occurrence of atmospheric condensation of a major component. These clouds play a crucial role due to their radiative properties, interactions with surface, and coupling with microphysical cycles of aerosols. Observations have been limited, prompting modeling studies to understand their formation and dynamics. Here, we present the first high‐ resolution 3D simulations of CO2 ice clouds using a Large‐Eddy Simulation (LES) model incorporating CO2 microphysics. We investigate cloud formation in idealized temperature perturbations in the polar night. A reference simulation with a 2K perturbation demonstrates that the formed CO2 ice cloud possesses a convective potential, leading to its ascent in the troposphere. We determine the timescales and orders of magnitude of various phenomena involved in the lifecycle of a CO2 ice cloud. Sensitivity tests show that convection can be inhibited or intensified by the thermodynamic and microphysical conditions of the simulated environment.
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insu-04620042 , version 1 (21-06-2024)

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Vincent Caillé, Aymeric Spiga, Anni Määttänen, Lola Falletti, Christophe Mathé. Resolving Convection of CO2 Ice Clouds in the Martian Polar Nights. Geophysical Research Letters, 2024, 51 (12), pp.e2023GL106923. ⟨10.1029/2023gl106923⟩. ⟨insu-04620042⟩
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