Comment on “Review of experimental studies of secondary ice production” by Korolev and Leisner (2020)

Phillips, Vaughan T. J.; Yano, Jun-Ichi; Deshmukh, Akash; Waman, Deepak

This is a comment on the review by Korolev and Leisner (2020, hereafter KL2020). The only two laboratory/field studies ever to measure the breakup in ice–ice collisions for in-cloud conditions were negatively criticised by KL2020, as were our subsequent theoretical and modelling studies informed by both studies. First, hypothetically, even without any further laboratory experiments, such theoretical and modelling studies would continue to be possible, based on classical mechanics and statistical physics. They are not sensitive to the accuracy of lab data for typical situations, partly because the nonlinear explosive growth of ice concentrations continues until some maximum concentration is reached. To a degree, the same final concentration is expected regardless of the fragment number per collision. Second, there is no evidence that both lab/field observational studies characterising fragmentation in ice–ice collisions are either mutually conflicting or erroneous such that they cannot be used to represent this breakup in numerical models, contrary to the review. The fact that the ice spheres of one experiment were hail sized (2 cm) is not a problem if a universal theoretical formulation, such as ours, with fundamental dependencies, is informed by it. Although both lab/field studies involved head-on collisions, rotational kinetic energy for all collisions generally is only a small fraction of the initial collision kinetic energy (CKE) anyway. Although both lab/field experiments involved fixed targets, that is not a problem since the fixing of the target is represented via CKE in any energy-based formulation such as ours. Finally, scaling analysis suggests that the breakup of ice during sublimation can make a significant contribution to ice enhancement in clouds, again contrary to the impression given by the review.

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Phillips, Vaughan T. J. / Yano, Jun-Ichi / Deshmukh, Akash / et al: Comment on “Review of experimental studies of secondary ice production” by Korolev and Leisner (2020). 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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