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    Primary versus secondary contributions to particle number concentrations in the European boundary layer
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Reddington, C.L.; Carslaw, K.S.; Spracklen, D.V.; Frontoso, M.G.; Collins, L.; Merikanto, J.; Minikin, A.; Hamburger, T.; Coe, H.; Kulmala, M.; Aalto, P.; Flentje, H.; Plass-Dülmer, C.; Birmili, W.; Wiedensohler, A.; Wehner, B.; Tuch, T.; Sonntag, A.; O'Dowd, C.D.; Jennings, S.G.; Dupuy, R.; Baltensperger, U.; Weingartner, E.; Hansson, H.-C.; Tunved, P.; Laj, P.; Sellegri, K.; Boulon, J.; Putaud, J.-P.; Gruening, C.; Swietlicki, E.; Roldin, P.; Henzing, J.S.; Moerman, M.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Kouvarakis, G.; Ždímal, V.; Zíková, N.; Marinoni, A.; Bonasoni, P.; Duchi, R.
    It is important to understand the relative contribution of primary and secondary particles to regional and global aerosol so that models can attribute aerosol radiative forcing to different sources. In large-scale models, there is considerable uncertainty associated with treatments of particle formation (nucleation) in the boundary layer (BL) and in the size distribution of emitted primary particles, leading to uncertainties in predicted cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. Here we quantify how primary particle emissions and secondary particle formation influence size-resolved particle number concentrations in the BL using a global aerosol microphysics model and aircraft and ground site observations made during the May 2008 campaign of the European Integrated Project on Aerosol Cloud Climate Air Quality Interactions (EUCAARI). We tested four different parameterisations for BL nucleation and two assumptions for the emission size distribution of anthropogenic and wildfire carbonaceous particles. When we emit carbonaceous particles at small sizes (as recommended by the Aerosol Intercomparison project, AEROCOM), the spatial distributions of campaign-mean number concentrations of particles with diameter >50 nm (N50) and >100 nm (N100) were well captured by the model (R2≥0.8) and the normalised mean bias (NMB) was also small (−18% for N50 and −1% for N100). Emission of carbonaceous particles at larger sizes, which we consider to be more realistic for low spatial resolution global models, results in equally good correlation but larger bias (R2≥0.8, NMB = −52% and −29%), which could be partly but not entirely compensated by BL nucleation. Within the uncertainty of the observations and accounting for the uncertainty in the size of emitted primary particles, BL nucleation makes a statistically significant contribution to CCN-sized particles at less than a quarter of the ground sites. Our results show that a major source of uncertainty in CCN-sized particles in polluted European air is the emitted size of primary carbonaceous particles. New information is required not just from direct observations, but also to determine the "effective emission size" and composition of primary particles appropriate for different resolution models.
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    Changes in the production rate of secondary aerosol particles in Central Europe in view of decreasing SO2 emissions between 1996 and 2006
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2010) Hamed, A.; Birmili, W.; Joutsensaari, J.; Mikkonen, S.; Asmi, A.; Wehner, B.; Spindler, G.; Jaatinen, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Korhonen, H.; Lehtinen, K.E.J.; Laaksonen, A.
    In anthropogenically influenced atmospheres, sulphur dioxide (SO2) is the main precursor of gaseous sulphuric acid (H2SO4), which in turn is a main precursor for atmospheric particle nucleation. As a result of socio-economic changes, East Germany has seen a dramatic decrease in anthropogenic SO2 emissions between 1989 and present, as documented by routine air quality measurements in many locations. We have attempted to evaluate the influence of changing SO2 concentrations on the frequency and intensity of new particle formation (NPF) using two different data sets (1996–1997; 2003–2006) of experimental particle number size distributions (diameter range 3–750 nm) from the atmospheric research station Melpitz near Leipzig, Germany. Between the two periods SO2 concentrations decreased by 65% on average, while the frequency of NPF events dropped by 45%. Meanwhile, the average formation rate of 3 nm particles decreased by 68% on average. The trends were statistically significant and therefore suggest a connection between the availability of anthropogenic SO2 and freshly formed new particles. In contrast to the decrease in new particle formation, we found an increase in the mean growth rate of freshly nucleated particles (+22%), suggesting that particle nucleation and subsequent growth into larger sizes are delineated with respect to their precursor species. Using three basic parameters, the condensation sink for H2SO4, the SO2 concentration, and the global radiation intensity, we were able to define the characteristic range of atmospheric conditions under which particle formation events take place at the Melpitz site. While the decrease in the concentrations and formation rates of the new particles was rather evident, no similar decrease was found with respect to the generation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN; particle diameter >100 nm) as a result of atmospheric nucleation events. On the contrary, the production of CCN following nucleation events appears to have increased by tens of percents. Our aerosol dynamics model simulations suggest that such an increase can be caused by the increased particle growth rate.
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    Influence of cloud processing on CCN activation behaviour in the Thuringian Forest, Germany during HCCT-2010
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Henning, S.; Dieckmann, K.; Ignatius, K.; Schäfer, M.; Zedler, P.; Harris, E.; Sinha, B.; van Pinxteren, D.; Mertes, S.; Birmili, W.; Merkel, M.; Wu, Z.; Wiedensohler, A.; Wex, H.; Herrmann, H.; Stratmann, F.
    Within the framework of the "Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia 2010" (HCCT-2010) international cloud experiment, the influence of cloud processing on the activation properties of ambient aerosol particles was investigated. Particles were probed upwind and downwind of an orographic cap cloud on Mt Schmücke, which is part of a large mountain ridge in Thuringia, Germany. The activation properties of the particles were investigated by means of size-segregated cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) measurements at 3 to 4 different supersaturations. The observed CCN spectra together with the total particle spectra were used to calculate the hygroscopicity parameter κ for the upwind and downwind stations. The upwind and downwind critical diameters and κ values were then compared for defined cloud events (FCE) and non-cloud events (NCE). Cloud processing was found to increase the hygroscopicity of the aerosol particles significantly, with an average increase in κ of 50%. Mass spectrometry analysis and isotopic analysis of the particles suggest that the observed increase in the hygroscopicity of the cloud-processed particles is due to an enrichment of sulfate and possibly also nitrate in the particle phase.
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    Aerosol decadal trends - Part 2: In-situ aerosol particle number concentrations at GAW and ACTRIS stations
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Asmi, A.; Collaud Coen, M.; Ogren, J.A.; Andrews, E.; Sheridan, P.; Jefferson, A.; Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger, U.; Bukowiecki, N.; Lihavainen, H.; Kivekäs, N.; Asmi, E.; Aalto, P.P.; Kulmala, M.; Wiedensohler, A.; Birmili, W.; Hamed, A.; O'Dowd, C.; Jennings, S.G.; Weller, R.; Flentje, H.; Fjaeraa, A.M.; Fiebig, M.; Myhre, C.L.; Hallar, A.G.; Swietlicki, E.; Kristensson, A.; Laj, P.
    We have analysed the trends of total aerosol particle number concentrations (N) measured at long-term measurement stations involved either in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) and/or EU infrastructure project ACTRIS. The sites are located in Europe, North America, Antarctica, and on Pacific Ocean islands. The majority of the sites showed clear decreasing trends both in the full-length time series, and in the intra-site comparison period of 2001–2010, especially during the winter months. Several potential driving processes for the observed trends were studied, and even though there are some similarities between N trends and air temperature changes, the most likely cause of many northern hemisphere trends was found to be decreases in the anthropogenic emissions of primary particles, SO2 or some co-emitted species. We could not find a consistent agreement between the trends of N and particle optical properties in the few stations with long time series of all of these properties. The trends of N and the proxies for cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) were generally consistent in the few European stations where the measurements were available. This work provides a useful comparison analysis for modelling studies of trends in aerosol number concentrations.
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    Relating particle hygroscopicity and CCN activity to chemical composition during the HCCT-2010 field campaign
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Wu, Z.J.; Poulain, L.; Henning, S.; Dieckmann, K.; Birmili, W.; Merkel, M.; van Pinxteren, D.; Spindler, G.; Müller, K.; Stratmann, F.; Herrmann, H.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Particle hygroscopic growth at 90% RH (relative humidity), cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity, and size-resolved chemical composition were concurrently measured in the Thüringer Wald mid-level mountain range in central Germany in the fall of 2010. The median hygroscopicity parameter values, κ, of 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nm particles derived from hygroscopicity measurements are respectively 0.14, 0.14, 0.17, 0.21, 0.24, and 0.28 during the sampling period. The closure between HTDMA (Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzers)-measured (κHTDMA) and chemical composition-derived (κchem) hygroscopicity parameters was performed based on the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule. Using size-averaged chemical composition, the κ values are substantially overpredicted (30 and 40% for 150 and 100 nm particles). Introducing size-resolved chemical composition substantially improved closure. We found that the evaporation of NH4NO3, which may happen in a HTDMA system, could lead to a discrepancy in predicted and measured particle hygroscopic growth. The hygroscopic parameter of the organic fraction, κorg, is positively correlated with the O : C ratio (κorg = 0.19 × (O : C) − 0.03). Such correlation is helpful to define the κorg value in the closure study. κ derived from CCN measurement was around 30% (varied with particle diameters) higher than that determined from particle hygroscopic growth measurements (here, hydrophilic mode is considered only). This difference might be explained by the surface tension effects, solution non-ideality, gas-particle partitioning of semivolatile compounds, and the partial solubility of constituents or non-dissolved particle matter. Therefore, extrapolating from HTDMA data to properties at the point of activation should be done with great care. Finally, closure study between CCNc (cloud condensation nucleus counter)-measured (κCCN) and chemical composition (κCCN, chem) was performed using CCNc-derived κ values for individual components. The results show that the κCCN can be well predicted using particle size-resolved chemical composition and the ZSR mixing rule.
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    Some insights into the condensing vapors driving new particle growth to CCN sizes on the basis of hygroscopicity measurements
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Wu, Z.J.; Poulain, L.; Birmili, W.; Größ, J.; Niedermeier, N.; Wang, Z.B.; Herrmann, H.; Wiedensohler, A.
    New particle formation (NPF) and growth is an important source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). In this study, we investigated the chemical species driving new particle growth to the CCN sizes on the basis of particle hygroscopicity measurements carried out at the research station Melpitz, Germany. Three consecutive NPF events occurred during summertime were chosen as examples to perform the study. Hygroscopicity measurements showed that the (NH4)2SO4-equivalent water-soluble fraction accounts for 20 and 16 % of 50 and 75 nm particles, respectively, during the NPF events. Numerical analysis showed that the ratios of H2SO4 condensational growth to the observed particle growth were 20 and 13 % for 50 and 75 nm newly formed particles, respectively. Aerosol mass spectrometer measurements showed that an enhanced mass fraction of sulfate and ammonium in the newly formed particles was observed when new particles grew to the sizes larger than 30 nm shortly after the particle formation period. At a later time, the secondary organic species played a key role in the particle growth. Both hygroscopicity and aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements and numerical analysis confirmed that organic compounds were major contributors driving particle growth to CCN sizes. The critical diameters at different supersaturations estimated using AMS data and κ-Köhler theory increased significantly during the later course of NPF events. This indicated that the enhanced organic mass fraction caused a reduction in CCN efficiency of newly formed particles. Our results implied that the CCN production associated with atmospheric nucleation may be overestimated if assuming that newly formed particles can serve as CCN once they grow to a fixed particle size, an assumption made in some previous studies, especially for organic-rich environments. In our study, the enhancement in CCN number concentration associated with individual NPF events were 63, 66, and 69 % for 0.1, 0.4, and 0.6 % supersaturation, respectively.