Browsing by Subject "LOWER TROPOSPHERE"

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  • Gordon, Hamish; Kirkby, Jasper; Baltensperger, Urs; Bianchi, Federico; Breitenlechner, Martin; Curtius, Joachim; Dias, Antonio; Dommen, Josef; Donahue, Neil M.; Dunne, Eimear M.; Duplissy, Jonathan; Ehrhart, Sebastian; Flagan, Richard C.; Frege, Carla; Fuchs, Claudia; Hansel, Armin; Hoyle, Christopher R.; Kulmala, Markku; Kurten, Andreas; Lehtipalo, Katrianne; Makhmutov, Vladimir; Molteni, Ugo; Rissanen, Matti P.; Stozkhov, Yuri; Trostl, Jasmin; Tsagkogeorgas, Georgios; Wagner, Robert; Williamson, Christina; Wimmer, Daniela; Winkler, Paul M.; Yan, Chao; Carslaw, Ken S. (2017)
    New particle formation has been estimated to produce around half of cloud-forming particles in the present-day atmosphere, via gas-to-particle conversion. Here we assess the importance of new particle formation (NPF) for both the present-day and the preindustrial atmospheres. We use a global aerosol model with parametrizations of NPF from previously published CLOUD chamber experiments involving sulfuric acid, ammonia, organic molecules, and ions. We find that NPF produces around 67% of cloud condensation nuclei at 0.2% supersaturation (CCN0.2%) at the level of low clouds in the preindustrial atmosphere (estimated uncertainty range 45-84%) and 54% in the present day (estimated uncertainty range 38-66%). Concerning causes, we find that the importance of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) in NPF and CCN formation is greater than previously thought. Removing BVOCs and hence all secondary organic aerosol from our model reduces low-cloud-level CCN concentrations at 0.2% supersaturation by 26% in the present-day atmosphere and 41% in the preindustrial. Around three quarters of this reduction is due to the tiny fraction of the oxidation products of BVOCs that have sufficiently low volatility to be involved in NPF and early growth. Furthermore, we estimate that 40% of preindustrial CCN0.2% are formed via ion-induced NPF, compared with 27% in the present day, although we caution that the ion-induced fraction of NPF involving BVOCs is poorly measured at present. Our model suggests that the effect of changes in cosmic ray intensity on CCN is small and unlikely to be comparable to the effect of large variations in natural primary aerosol emissions. Plain Language Summary New particle formation in the atmosphere is the process by which gas molecules collide and stick together to form atmospheric aerosol particles. Aerosols act as seeds for cloud droplets, so the concentration of aerosols in the atmosphere affects the properties of clouds. It is important to understand how aerosols affect clouds because they reflect a lot of incoming solar radiation away from Earth's surface, so changes in cloud properties can affect the climate. Before the Industrial Revolution, aerosol concentrations were significantly lower than they are today. In this article, we show using global model simulations that new particle formation was a more important mechanism for aerosol production than it is now. We also study the importance of gases emitted by vegetation, and of atmospheric ions made by radon gas or cosmic rays, in preindustrial aerosol formation. We find that the contribution of ions and vegetation to new particle formation was also greater in the preindustrial period than it is today. However, the effect on particle formation of variations in ion concentration due to changes in the intensity of cosmic rays reaching Earth was small.
  • Huang, Xin; Zhou, Luxi; Ding, Aijun; Qi, Ximeng; Nie, Wei; Wang, Minghuai; Chi, Xuguang; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Roldin, Pontus; Rusanen, Anton; Kulmala, Markku; Boy, Michael (2016)
    New particle formation (NPF) has been investigated intensively during the last 2 decades because of its influence on aerosol population and the possible contribution to cloud condensation nuclei. However, intensive measurements and modelling activities on this topic in urban metropolitan areas in China with frequent high-pollution episodes are still very limited. This study provides results from a comprehensive modelling study on the occurrence of NPF events in the western part of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region, China. The comprehensive modelling system, which combines the WRF-Chem (the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry) regional chemical transport model and the MALTE-BOX sectional box model (the model to predict new aerosol formation in the lower troposphere), was shown to be capable of simulating atmospheric nucleation and subsequent growth. Here we present a detailed discussion of three typical NPF days, during which the measured air masses were notably influenced by either anthropogenic activities, biogenic emissions, or mixed ocean and continental sources. Overall, simulated NPF events were generally in good agreement with the corresponding measurements, enabling us to get further insights into NPF processes in the YRD region. Based on the simulations, we conclude that biogenic organic compounds, particularly monoterpenes, play an essential role in the initial condensational growth of newly formed clusters through their low-volatility oxidation products. Although some uncertain-ties remain in this modelling system, this method provides a possibility to better understand particle formation and growth processes.
  • 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.
  • Valkonen, Teresa; Vihma, Timo; Kirkwood, Sheila; Johansson, Milla M. (2010)