• Mineral dust aerosol;
  • Arctic clouds;
  • Pollution dust aerosol

[1] Mineral dust aerosol is the main ice nucleus (IN) in the Arctic. Observed dust concentrations at Alert, Canada, are lowest in winter and summer and highest in spring and autumn. In this study, we simulate transport and deposition of dust in a global chemical transport model. The model predicts the spring maximum caused by natural dust from desert sources in Asia and Sahara but underestimates the observations in autumn. Both natural and pollution sources contribute to the wintertime dust burden, as suggested by previous measurements of elemental compositions. Cloud parcel model simulations were carried out to study the impact of dust aerosol on the formation of mixed-phase and ice clouds in the Arctic lower troposphere. The liquid water path of low-level cloud is most sensitive to dust aerosol concentration from winter to early spring when air temperature is at its lowest in the annual cycle. The global and parcel models together suggest that low concentrations and acid coating of dust particles are favorable conditions for occurrence of mixed-phase clouds and that anthropogenic pollution can cause significant perturbations to Arctic IN and clouds in winter.