Characterization of satellite-based proxies for estimating nucleation mode particles over South Africa

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Sundström , A -M , Nikandrova , A , Atlaskina , K , Nieminen , T , Vakkari , V , Laakso , L , Beukes , J P , Arola , A , van Zyl , P G , Josipovic , M , Venter , A D , Jaars , K , Pienaar , J J , Piketh , S , Wiedensohler , A , Chiloane , E K , de Leeuw , G & Kulmala , M 2015 , ' Characterization of satellite-based proxies for estimating nucleation mode particles over South Africa ' , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics , vol. 15 , no. 9 , pp. 4983-4996 . https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-4983-2015

Title: Characterization of satellite-based proxies for estimating nucleation mode particles over South Africa
Author: Sundström, A. -M.; Nikandrova, A.; Atlaskina, K.; Nieminen, T.; Vakkari, V.; Laakso, L.; Beukes, J. P.; Arola, A.; van Zyl, P. G.; Josipovic, M.; Venter, A. D.; Jaars, K.; Pienaar, J. J.; Piketh, S.; Wiedensohler, A.; Chiloane, E. K.; de Leeuw, G.; Kulmala, Markku
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
ISSN: 1680-7316
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/161557
Abstract: Proxies for estimating nucleation mode number concentrations and further simplification for their use with satellite data have been presented in Kulmala et al. (2011). In this paper we discuss the underlying assumptions for these simplifications and evaluate the resulting proxies over an area in South Africa based on a comparison with a suite of ground-based measurements available from four different stations. The proxies are formulated in terms of sources (concentrations of precursor gases (NO2 and SO2) and UVB radiation intensity near the surface) and a sink term related to removal of the precursor gases due to condensation on pre-existing aerosols. A-Train satellite data are used as input to compute proxies. Both the input data and the resulting proxies are compared with those obtained from ground-based measurements. In particular, a detailed study is presented on the substitution of the local condensation sink (CS) with satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD), which is a column-integrated parameter. One of the main factors affecting the disagreement between CS and AOD is the presence of elevated aerosol layers. Overall, the correlation between proxies calculated from the in situ data and observed nucleation mode particle number concentrations (N-nuc) remained low. At the time of the satellite overpass (13: 00-14: 00 LT) the highest correlation is observed for SO2/CS (R-2 D 0.2). However, when the proxies are calculated using satellite data, only NO2/AOD showed some correlation with N-nuc (R-2 D 0.2). This can be explained by the relatively high uncertainties related especially to the satellite SO2 columns and by the positive correlation that is observed between the ground-based SO2 and NO2 concentrations. In fact, results show that the satellite NO2 columns compare better with in situ SO2 concentration than the satellite SO2 column. Despite the high uncertainties related to the proxies calculated using satellite data, the proxies calculated from the in situ data did not better predict N-nuc. Hence, overall improvements in the formulation of the proxies are needed.
Subject: AEROSOL OPTICAL-PROPERTIES
ATMOSPHERIC PARTICLES
FORMATION EVENTS
AIR-POLLUTION
TRACE GASES
SAVANNA
OMI
RETRIEVAL
GROWTH
ENVIRONMENTS
114 Physical sciences
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