Browsing by Subject "COSMIC-RAYS"

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  • Frege, Carla; Bianchi, Federico; Molteni, Ugo; Trostl, Jasmin; Junninen, Heikki; Henne, Stephan; Sipilä, Mikko; Herrmann, Erik; Rossi, Michel J.; Kulmala, Markku; Hoyle, Christopher R.; Baltensperger, Urs; Dommen, Josef (2017)
    The ion composition at high altitude (3454 m a.s.l.) was measured with an atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer (APi-TOF) during a period of 9 months, from August 2013 to April 2014. The negative mass spectra were dominated by the ions of sulfuric, nitric, malonic, and methanesulfonic acid (MSA) as well as SO5. The most prominent positive ion peaks were from amines. The other cations were mainly organic compounds clustered with a nitrogen-containing ion, which could be either NH4+ or an aminium. Occasionally the positive spectra were characterized by groups of compounds each differing by a methylene group. In the negative spectrum, sulfuric acid was always observed during clear sky conditions following the diurnal cycle of solar irradiation. On many occasions we also saw a high signal of sulfuric acid during nighttime when clusters up to the tetramer were observed. A plausible reason for these events could be evaporation from particles at low relative humidity. A remarkably strong correlation between the signals of SO5 and CH3SO3- was observed for the full measurement period. The presence of these two ions during both the day and the night suggests a non-photochemical channel of formation which is possibly linked to halogen chemistry. Halogenated species, especially Br- and IO3-, were frequently observed in air masses that originated mainly from the Atlantic Ocean and occasionally from continental areas based on back trajectory analyses. We found I2O5 clustered with an ion, a species that was proposed from laboratory and modeling studies. All halogenated ions exhibited an unexpected diurnal behavior with low values during daytime. New particle formation (NPF) events were observed and characterized by (1) highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs) and low sulfuric acid or (2) ammonia-sulfuric acid clusters. We present characteristic spectra for each of these two event types based on 26 nucleation episodes. The mass spectrum of the ammonia-sulfuric acid nucleation event compares very well with laboratory measurements reported from the CLOUD chamber. A source receptor analysis indicates that NPF events at the Jungfraujoch take place within a restricted period of time of 24-48 h after air masses have had contact with the boundary layer. This time frame appears to be crucial to reach an optimal oxidation state and concentration of organic molecules necessary to facilitate nucleation.
  • Franchin, A.; Ehrhart, S.; Leppä, J.; Nieminen, T.; Gagné, S.; Schobesberger, S.; Wimmer, D.; Duplissy, J.; Riccobono, F.; Dunne, E.M.; Rondo, L.; Downard, A.; Bianchi, F.; Kupc, A.; Tsagkogeorgas, G.; Lehtipalo, K.; Manninen, H.E.; Almeida, J.; Amorim, A.; Wagner, P.E.; Hansel, A.; Kirkby, J.; Kürten, A.; Donahue, N.M.; Makhmutov, V.; Mathot, S.; Metzger, A.; Petäjä, T.; Schnitzhofer, R.; Sipilä, M.; Stozhkov, Y.; Tomé, A.; Kerminen, V.-M.; Carslaw, K.; Curtius, J.; Baltensperger, U.; Kulmala, M. (2015)
    We present the results of laboratory measurements of the ion-ion recombination coefficient at different temperatures, relative humidities and concentrations of ozone and sulfur dioxide. The experiments were carried out using the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) chamber at CERN, the walls of which are made of conductive material, making it possible to measure small ions. We produced ions in the chamber using a 3.5 GeV c(-1) beam of positively charged pions (pi(+)) generated by the CERN Proton Synchrotron (PS). When the PS was switched off, galactic cosmic rays were the only ionization source in the chamber. The range of the ion production rate varied from 2 to 100 cm(-3) s(-1), covering the typical range of ionization throughout the troposphere. The temperature ranged from -55 to 20 degrees C, the relative humidity (RH) from 0 to 70 %, the SO2 concentration from 0 to 40 ppb, and the ozone concentration from 200 to 700 ppb. The best agreement of the retrieved ion-ion recombination coefficient with the commonly used literature value of 1.6 x 10(-6) cm(3) s(-1) was found at a temperature of 5 degrees C and a RH of 40% (1.5 +/- 0.6) x 10(-6) cm(3) s(-1). At 20 degrees C and 40% RH, the retrieved ion-ion recombination coefficient was instead (2.3 +/- 0.7) x 10(-6) cm(3) s(-1). We observed no dependency of the ion-ion recombination coefficient on ozone concentration and a weak variation with sulfur dioxide concentration. However, we observed a more than fourfold increase in the ion-ion recombination coefficient with decreasing temperature. We compared our results with three different models and found an overall agreement for temperatures above 0 degrees C, but a disagreement at lower temperatures. We observed a strong increase in the recombination coefficient for decreasing relative humidities, which has not been reported previously.
  • Jokinen, T.; Sipilä, M.; Kontkanen, J.; Vakkari, V.; Tisler, P.; Duplissy, E.-M.; Junninen, H.; Kangasluoma, J.; Manninen, H. E.; Petäjä, T.; Kulmala, M.; Worsnop, D. R.; Kirkby, J.; Virkkula, A.; Kerminen, V.-M. (2018)
    Formation of new aerosol particles from trace gases is a major source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the global atmosphere, with potentially large effects on cloud optical properties and Earth's radiative balance. Controlled laboratory experiments have resolved, in detail, the different nucleation pathways likely responsible for atmospheric new particle formation, yet very little is known from field studies about the molecular steps and compounds involved in different regions of the atmosphere. The scarcity of primary particle sources makes secondary aerosol formation particularly important in the Antarctic atmosphere. Here, we report on the observation of ion-induced nucleation of sulfuric acid and ammonia-a process experimentally investigated by the CERN CLOUD experiment-as a major source of secondary aerosol particles over coastal Antarctica. We further show that measured high sulfuric acid concentrations, exceeding 10(7) molecules cm(-3), are sufficient to explain the observed new particle growth rates. Our findings show that ion-induced nucleation is the dominant particle formation mechanism, implying that galactic cosmic radiation plays a key role in new particle formation in the pristine Antarctic atmosphere.
  • Usoskin, Dmitry; Koldobskiy, S.; Kovaltsov, G. A.; Gil, A.; Usoskina,; Willamo, T.; Ibragimov, A. (2020)
    Aims. Continuous measurements of ground-based neutron monitors (NMs) form the main data source for studying high-energy high-intensity solar energetic particle (SEP) events that are called ground-level enhancements (GLEs). All available data are collected in the International GLE Database (IGLED), which provides formal NM count-rate increases above the constant pre-increase level which is due to galactic cosmic rays (GCR). This data set is used to reconstruct the energy spectra of GLE events. However, the assumption of a constant GCR background level throughout GLE events is often invalid. Here we thoroughly revise the IGLED and provide a data set of detrended NM count-rate increases that accounts for the variable GCR background. Methods. The formal GLE count-rate increases were corrected for the variable GCR background, which may vary significantly during GLE events. The corresponding integral omnidirectional fluences of SEPs were reconstructed for all GLEs with sufficient strength from the detrended data using the effective rigidity method. Results. The database of the detrended NM count rate is revised for GLE events since 1956. Integral omnidirectional fluences were estimated for 58 GLE events and parametrised for 52 sufficiently strong events using the modified Ellison-Ramaty spectral shape. Conclusions. The IGLED was revised to account for the variable GCR background. Integral omnidirectional fluences reconstructed for most of GLE events were added to IGLED. This forms the basis for more precise studies of parameters of SEP events and thus for solar and space physics.
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Sanahuja, B.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2020)
    Aims. We study the effect of the magnetic gradient and curvature drifts on the pitch-angle dependent transport of solar energetic particles (SEPs) in the heliosphere, focussing on similar to 3-36 MeV protons. By considering observers located at different positions in the heliosphere, we investigate how drifts may alter the measured intensity-time profiles and energy spectra. We focus on the decay phase of solar energetic proton events in which a temporal invariant spectrum and disappearing spatial intensity gradients are often observed; a phenomenon known as the "reservoir effect" or the "SEP flood". We study the effects of drifts by propagating particles both in nominal and non-nominal solar wind conditions.Methods. We used a three-dimensional (3D) particle transport model, solving the focused transport equation extended with the effect of particle drifts in the spatial term. Nominal Parker solar wind configurations of different speeds and a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generated solar wind containing a corotating interaction region (CIR) were considered. The latter configuration gives rise to a magnetic bottle structure, with one bottleneck at the Sun and the other at the CIR. We inject protons from a fixed source at 0.1 AU, the inner boundary of the MHD model.Results. When the drift induced particle net-flux is zero, the modelled intensity-time profiles obtained at different radial distances along an IMF line show the same intensity fall-off after the prompt phase of the particle event, which is in accordance with the SEP flood phenomenon. However, observers magnetically connected close to the edges of the particle injection site can experience, as a result of drifts, a sudden drop in the intensities occurring at different times for different energies such that no SEP flood phenomenon is established. In the magnetic bottle structure, this effect is enhanced due to the presence of magnetic field gradients strengthening the nominal particle drifts. Moreover, anisotropies can be large for observers that only receive particles through drifts, illustrating the importance of pitch-angle dependent 3D particle modelling. We observe that interplanetary cross-field diffusion can mitigate the effects of particle drifts.Conclusions. Particle drifts can substantially modify the decay phase of SEP events, especially if the solar wind contains compression regions or shock waves where the drifts are enhanced. This is, for example, the case for our CIR solar wind configuration generated with a 3D MHD model, where the effect of drifts is strong. A similar decay rate in different energy channels and for different observers requires the mitigation of the effect of drifts. One way to accomplish this is through interplanetary cross-field diffusion, suggesting thus a way to determine a minimum value for the cross-field diffusion strength.
  • Bianchi, Federico; Garmash, Olga; He, Xucheng; Yan, Chao; Iyer, Siddharth; Rosendahl, Ida; Xu, Zhengning; Rissanen, Matti P.; Riva, Matthieu; Taipale, Risto; Sarnela, Nina; Petäjä, Tuukka; Worsnop, Douglas R.; Kulmala, Markku; Ehn, Mikael; Junninen, Heikki (2017)
    In order to investigate the negative ions in the boreal forest we have performed measurements to chemically characterise the composition of negatively charged clusters containing highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs). Additionally, we compared this information with the chemical composition of the neutral gas-phase molecules detected in the ambient atmosphere during the same period. The chemical composition of the ions was retrieved using an atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer (APiTOF-MS) while the gas-phase neutral molecules (mainly sulfuric acid and HOMs) were characterised using the same mass spectrometer coupled to a nitrate-based chemical ionisation unit (CI-APi-TOF). Overall, we divided the identified HOMs in two classes: HOMs containing only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen-containing HOMs or organonitrates (ONs). During the day, among the ions, in addition to the well-known pure sulfuric acid clusters, we found a large number of HOMs clustered with nitrate (NO3-) or bisulfate (HSO4-), with the first one being more abundant. During the night, the distribution of ions, mainly composed of HOM clustered with NO3-, was very similar to the neutral compounds that are detected in the CI-APi-TOF as adducts with the artificially introduced primary ion (NO3-). For the first time, we identified several clusters containing up to 40 carbon atoms. These ions are formed by up to four oxidised alpha-pinene units clustered with NO3-. While we know that dimers (16-20 carbon atoms) are probably formed by a covalent bond between two alpha-pinene oxidised units, it is still unclear what bonding formed larger clusters. Finally, diurnal profiles of the negative ions were consistent with the neutral compounds revealing that ONs peak during the day while HOMs are more abundant at night-time. However, during the day, a large fraction of the negative charge is taken up by the pure sulfuric acid clusters causing differences between ambient ions and neutral compounds (i.e. less available charge for HOM and ON).