A computationally efficient description of heterogeneous freezing: A simplified version of the Soccer ball model


Correspondence to:

D. Niedermeier,


In a recent study, the Soccer ball model (SBM) was introduced for modeling and/or parameterizing heterogeneous ice nucleation processes. The model applies classical nucleation theory. It allows for a consistent description of both apparently singular and stochastic ice nucleation behavior, by distributing contact angles over the nucleation sites of a particle population assuming a Gaussian probability density function. The original SBM utilizes the Monte Carlo technique, which hampers its usage in atmospheric models, as fairly time-consuming calculations must be performed to obtain statistically significant results. Thus, we have developed a simplified and computationally more efficient version of the SBM. We successfully used the new SBM to parameterize experimental nucleation data of, e.g., bacterial ice nucleation. Both SBMs give identical results; however, the new model is computationally less expensive as confirmed by cloud parcel simulations. Therefore, it is a suitable tool for describing heterogeneous ice nucleation processes in atmospheric models.