Browsing by Subject "aerosol"

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  • Pajunoja, Aki; Lambe, Andrew T.; Hakala, Jani; Rastak, Narges; Cummings, Molly J.; Brogan, James F.; Hao, Liqing; Paramonov, Mikhail; Hong, Juan; Prisle, Nonne L.; Malila, Jussi; Romakkaniemi, Sami; Lehtinen, Kari E. J.; Laaksonen, Ari; Kulmala, Markku; Massoli, Paola; Onasch, Timothy B.; Donahue, Neil M.; Riipinen, Ilona; Davidovits, Paul; Worsnop, Douglas R.; Petaja, Tuukka; Virtanen, Annele (2015)
    Aerosol climate effects are intimately tied to interactions with water. Here we combine hygroscopicity measurements with direct observations about the phase of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particles to show that water uptake by slightly oxygenated SOA is an adsorption-dominated process under subsaturated conditions, where low solubility inhibits water uptake until the humidity is high enough for dissolution to occur. This reconciles reported discrepancies in previous hygroscopicity closure studies. We demonstrate that the difference in SOA hygroscopic behavior in subsaturated and supersaturated conditions can lead to an effect up to about 30% in the direct aerosol forcinghighlighting the need to implement correct descriptions of these processes in atmospheric models. Obtaining closure across the water saturation point is therefore a critical issue for accurate climate modeling.
  • Huttunen, Jani (Finnish Meteorological Institute, 2017)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 135
    Aerosols affect the climate both directly and indirectly. The direct effect comes from their influence on the radiation balance by scattering and absorption of solar radiation, while the indirect effect is based on the ways in which aerosols interact via clouds. Currently the total anthropogenic aerosol forcing includes one of the main uncertainties in the assessment of human induced climate change. The aerosol direct radiative effect (ADRE) can be simulated with either the radiative transfer modelling or estimated with solar radiation and aerosol amount measurements. Both approaches include significant uncertainties and this thesis focuses on the uncertainties on the measurement based estimation of ADRE and the uncertainties therein. The main scientific objectives of this thesis are to seek answers to the following four questions: 1) are the machine learning algorithms better than the a traditional lookup table (LUT) approach in estimating aerosol load (aerosol optical depth, AOD)?; 2) what is the role of water vapor (WVC) variability in the measurementbased regression method used to estimate the surface ADRE?; 3) how well do the radiative transfer codes, typically used in global aerosol models, agree?; 4) what is the impact of typically neglected diurnal aerosol variability in ADRE estimation? The results show that: 1) the machine learning algorithms are able to provide AOD more accurately than the LUT approach for conditions of varying aerosol optical properties, since in the LUT approach the aerosol model (e.g. single scattering albedo, asymmetry factor) needs to be fixed in advance. 2) It was found that covariability of AOD and WVC can have an influence in ADRE estimates, when using groundbased measurements of surface solar radiation and AOD. This has not been taken into account previously, but needs to be considered when these methods are applied. 3) The model intercomparison study, in which the models estimated the radiative fluxes for the same atmospheric states, revealed that there is relatively large diversity between models regarding the results from their radiative transfer modelling. 4) The main conclusion from the study focusing on the impact of systematic diurnal AOD cycles in aerosol direct radiative effect, was that even a notable diurnal change in AOD does not typically affect the 24h-average ADRE significantly.
  • Bohlmann, Stephanie (Ilmatieteen laitos - Finnish Meteorological Institute, 2021)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 175
    Atmospheric pollen is a well-known health threat causing allergy-related diseases. As a biogenic aerosol, pollen also affects the climate by directly absorbing and scattering solar radiation and by acting as cloud condensation or ice nuclei. A good understanding of pollen distribution and transport mechanisms is needed to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of pollen. However, pollen observations are usually performed close to ground and vertical information, which could be used to evaluate and improve pollen transport models, is widely missing. In this thesis, the applicability of lidar measurements to detect pollen in the atmosphere is investigated. For this purpose, measurements of the multiwavelength Raman polarization lidar PollyXT at the rural forest site in Vehmasmäki (Kuopio), Eastern Finland have been utilized. The depolarization ratio was identified to be the most valuable optical property for the detection of atmospheric pollen, as nonspherical pollen like pine and spruce pollen causes high depolarization ratios. However, detected depolarization ratios coincide with typical values for dusty mixtures and additional information such as backward trajectories need to be considered to ensure the absence of other depolarizing aerosols like dust. To separate pollen from background aerosol, a method to estimate the optical properties of pure pollen using lidar measurements was developed. Under the assumption that the Ångström exponent of pure pollen is zero, the depolarization ratio of pure pollen can be estimated. Depolarization ratios for birch and pine pollen at 355 and 532 nm were determined and suggested a wavelength dependence of the depolarization ratio. To further investigate this wavelength dependence, the possibility to use depolarization measurements of Halo Doppler lidars (1565 nm) was explored. In the lower troposphere, Halo Doppler lidars can provide reasonable depolarization values with comparable quality to PollyXT measurements. Finally, measurements of PollyXT and a Halo StreamLine Doppler lidar were used to determine the depolarization ratio at three wavelengths. A wavelength dependence of the particle depolarization ratio with maximum depolarization at 532 nm was found. This could be a characteristic feature of non-spherical pollen and the key to distinguish pollen from other depolarizing aerosol types.
  • Lihavainen, Heikki; Asmi, Eija; Aaltonen, Veijo; Makkonen, Ulla; Kerminen, Veli-Matti (2015)
    We used more than five years of continuous aerosol measurements to estimate the direct radiative feedback parameter associated with the formation of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (BSOA) at a remote continental site at the edge of the boreal forest zone in Northern Finland. Our upper-limit estimate for this feedback parameter during the summer period (ambient temperatures above 10 degrees C) was -97 +/- 66 mWm(-2) K-1 (mean +/- STD) when using measurements of the aerosol optical depth (f(AOD)) and -63 +/- 40 mWm(-2) K-1 when using measurements of the 'dry' aerosol scattering coefficient at the ground level (f(sigma)). Here STD represents the variability in f caused by the observed variability in the quantities used to derive the value of f. Compared with our measurement site, the magnitude of the direct radiative feedback associated with BSOA is expected to be larger in warmer continental regions with more abundant biogenic emissions, and even larger in regions where biogenic emissions are mixed with anthropogenic pollution.
  • Meinander, Outi (Finnish Meteorological Institute, 2016)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 125
    Light-absorbing impurities in the cryosphere are of hydrological, environmental and climatic importance. The wet and dry deposition of black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), and dust particles affect the optical properties and melt of snow and ice. In the Arctic region, the climatic effects are amplified, and surface albedo feedback is often cited as the main contributor. The aim of this thesis is to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of the effects of BC, OC, and Icelandic dust on snow in the European Arctic through a series of field and laboratory experiments and an analysis of the resulting data, including modeling. The thesis presents a new hypothesis on the snow density effects of light-absorbing impurities, an important quantity for climate modeling and remote sensing. Three processes are suggested to explain the proposed ”BC density effect”. Experimental results show that dirty snow releases melt water quicker than cleaner snow. The albedo of natural seasonally melting snow in Sodankylä, north of the Arctic Circle, is found to be asymmetric with respect to solar midday, thus indicating a change in the properties of the snow. The radiative transfer modeling results show that the observed solar zenith angle asymmetry results in a 2–4 % daily error for satellite snow albedo estimates. Surface albedo model results indicate that the biggest snow albedo changes due to BC are expected in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The albedo of natural seasonal snow measured in Sodankylä, is found to be lower than expected. Solar UV and visible (VIS) albedo values of 0.6–0.8 in the accumulation period and 0.5–0.7 during melting are observed. The low albedo values are explained to be due to large snow grain sizes up to ∼3 mm in diameter, meltwater surrounding the grains and increasing the effective grain size, and absorption caused by impurities in the natural snow (87 ppb BC and 2894 ppb OC). The BC contents of the surface snow layer at the Sodankylä Arctic Research Center, Finland, is higher than expected. Increased BC in spring time suggests surface accumulation of hydrophobic BC during snow melt. Some of the high BC concentrations are related to anthropogenic soot transported from the Kola Peninsula, Russia. The origin of OC can be anthropogenic or natural, and may include pollen, seeds, lichens, natural litter or microorganisms that reside in snow and ice. Iceland is the most important Arctic dust source, but a scientific assessment of its impacts on the cryosphere is currently unavailable and scientific results are urgently needed to investigate the role of Icelandic dust in Iceland and elsewhere, in the past, present and future. Experimental results on Icelandic volcanic ash show that a thin layer increases the snow and ice melt but that an ash layer exceeding a certain critical thickness causes insulation. The Arctic results of this thesis have relevance to the assessment of Arctic climate change, including modeling and satellite applications.
  • Lawler, Michael J.; Rissanen, Matti P.; Ehn, Mikael; Mauldin, R. Lee; Sarnela, Nina; Sipilä, Mikko; Smith, James N. (2018)
    New particle formation (NPF) is an important contributor to particle number in many locations, but the chemical drivers for this process are not well understood. Daytime NPF events occur regularly in the springtime Finnish boreal forest and strongly impact aerosol abundance. In April 2014 size-resolved chemical measurements of ambient nanoparticles were made using the Time-of-Flight Thermal Desorption Chemical ionization Mass Spectrometer and we report results from two NPF events. While growth overall was dominated by terpene oxidation products, newly formed 20-70nm particles showed enhancement in apparent alkanoic acids. The events occurred on days with rapid transport of marine air, which correlated with low background aerosol loading and higher gas phase methanesulfonic acid levels. These results are broadly consistent with previous studies on Nordic NPF but indicate that further attention should be given to the sources and role of non-terpenoid organics and the possible contribution of transported marine compounds in this process. Plain Language Summary Clouds are an enormously important part of the climate system because they control the radiation entering and leaving the Earth. Clouds form as water condenses onto small particles called cloud condensation nuclei. These particles can be directly emitted from the Earth's surface, like sea spray, for example, or they can form in the atmosphere out of precursor gases. We have measured the composition of these atmosphere-formed particles to understand better how this process works in the Nordic boreal forest. We found that a diverse mix of processes and molecules are likely involved, possibly including the transport of materials from the ocean. While these results will ultimately lead to a better understanding of ocean-land-cloud interactions, they currently indicate that more work is needed to learn the processes involved.
  • Venkat, Vinaya (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into discussion the role of airborne transmission in infectious diseases. Many studies on enveloped viruses such as influenza suggest that respiratory viruses can be transmitted with large or small droplets formed when the patients talk, breathe, sneeze or cough. This comes under the category of direct contact. These droplets may also be transmitted indirectly as fomites through contact with contaminated surfaces. It has been difficult to prove that aerosols' transmission as the methods to capture virus in the air are not very sensitive. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus affecting millions of people since 2019, and it has been challenging to contain the spread of this virus. Hence it is of vital importance to understand the transmission of the virus through aerosol and droplets. In this study, aerosol samples were collected from patients in the Surgical Hospital in Helsinki and patients at home in quarantine using various bioaerosols sampling devices like Biospot, Dekati, Button, and Andersen samplers, and passive sampling techniques to capture aerosols and droplets in the air. Such samples were subjected to cell culture on TMPRSS2 expressing Vero E6 cells to check for infectious viruses and RT-PCR using the N-gene targeting method to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the samples. Out of the 32 saliva samples collected, 19 samples were tested positive by RT-PCR, but cell culture was not always positive. Bioaerosol samples collected using Dekati, Button, and Biospot samplers were negative by PCR. However, Andersen samplers showed positive results along with various passive aerosol samples collected on MEM, indicating aerosols' production of small sizes that can be transmitted air in the air to far distances and settling due to gravity. A relation between saliva samples and symptom days indicates the decrease in saliva viruses' infectivity with the prolonged infection as seen from the RT-PCR. From these findings, it can be concluded that SARS-CoV-2 can be spread by airborne and fomite transmission, and more so by patients with symptoms day 2-7 who are proven to be more infectious. Additionally, it was inferred that the Six Stage Andersen impactor would be the most efficient for aerosol sampling. Further studies are still needed to understand the characteristics of the spread and extent of infection caused by the variants of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Sebastian, Mathew; Kompalli, Sobhan Kumar; Kumar, Vasudevan Anil; Jose, Sandhya; Babu, S. Suresh; Pandithurai, Govindan; Singh, Sachchidanand; Hooda, Rakesh K.; Soni, Vijay K.; Pierce, Jeffrey R.; Vakkari, Ville; Asmi, Eija; Westervelt, Daniel M.; Hyvärinen, Antti-Pekka; Kanawade, Vijay P. (Copernicus Publ., 2022)
    Atmospheric chemistry and physics
    Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is a crucial process driving aerosol number concentrations in the atmosphere; it can significantly impact the evolution of atmospheric aerosol and cloud processes. This study analyses at least 1 year of asynchronous particle number size distributions from six different locations in India. We also analyze the frequency of NPF and its contribution to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. We found that the NPF frequency has a considerable seasonal variability. At the measurement sites analyzed in this study, NPF frequently occurs in March–May (pre-monsoon, about 21 % of the days) and is the least common in October–November (post-monsoon, about 7 % of the days). Considering the NPF events in all locations, the particle formation rate (JSDS) varied by more than 2 orders of magnitude (0.001–0.6 cm−3s−1) and the growth rate between the smallest detectable size and 25 nm (GRSDS-25 nm) by about 3 orders of magnitude (0.2–17.2 nm h−1). We found that JSDS was higher by nearly 1 order of magnitude during NPF events in urban areas than mountain sites. GRSDS did not show a systematic difference. Our results showed that NPF events could significantly modulate the shape of particle number size distributions and CCN concentrations in India. The contribution of a given NPF event to CCN concentrations was the highest in urban locations (4.3 × 103cm−3 per event and 1.2 × 103cm−3 per event for 50 and 100 nm, respectively) as compared to mountain background sites (2.7 × 103cm−3 per event and 1.0 × 103cm−3 per event, respectively). We emphasize that the physical and chemical pathways responsible for NPF and factors that control its contribution to CCN production require in situ field observations using recent advances in aerosol and its precursor gaseous measurement techniques.
  • Ovaska, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) participate in controlling the climate, and a better understading of their number concentrations is needed to constrain the current uncertainties in Earth’s energy budget. However, estimating the global CCN concentrations is difficult using only localised in-situ measurements. To overcome this, different proxies and parametrisations for CCN have been developed. In this thesis, accumulation mode particles were used as a substitute for CCN, and continental proxy for number concentration of N100 was developed with CO and temperature as tracers for anthropogenic and biogenic emissions. The data utilised in the analysis contained N100 measurements from 22 sites from 5 different continents as well as CO and temperature from CAMS reanalysis dataset. The thesis aimed to construct a global continental proxy. In addition to this, individual proxies for each site (the site proxy) and proxies trained with other sites’ data (the site excluded proxy) were developed. The performance of these proxies was evaluated using a modified version of K-fold cross-validation, which allowed estimating the effect of dataset selection on the results. Additionally, time series, seasonal variation, and parameter distributions for developed proxies were analysed and findings compared against known characteristics of the sites. Global proxy was developed, but no single set of parameters, that would achieve the best performance at all sites, was found. Therefore, two versions of global proxy were selected and their results analysed. For most of the sites, the site proxy performed better than the global proxies. Additionally, based on the analysis from the site excluded proxy, extrapolating the global proxy to new locations produced results with varying accuracy. Best results came from sites with low concentrations and occasional anthropogenic transport episodes. Additionally, some European rural sites performed well, whereas in mountainous sites the proxy struggled. Comparing the proxy to literature, it performed generally less well or similarly as proxies from other studies. Longer datasets and additional measurement sites could improve the proxy performance.