Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    On the sub-micron aerosol size distribution in a coastal-rural site at El Arenosillo Station (SW – Spain)
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Sorribas, M.; de la Morena, B.A.; Wehner, B.; López, J.F.; Prats, N.; Mogo, S.; Wiedensohler, A.; Cachorro, V.E.
    This study focuses on the analysis of the sub-micron aerosol characteristics at El Arenosillo Station, a rural and coastal environment in South-western Spain between 1 August 2004 and 31 July 2006 (594 days). The mean total concentration (NT) was 8660 cm−3 and the mean concentrations in the nucleation (NNUC), Aitken (NAIT) and accumulation (NACC) particle size ranges were 2830 cm−3, 4110 cm−3 and 1720 cm−3, respectively. Median size distribution was characterised by a single-modal fit, with a geometric diameter, median number concentration and geometric standard deviation of 60 nm, 5390 cm−3 and 2.31, respectively. Characterisation of primary emissions, secondary particle formation, changes to meteorology and long-term transport has been necessary to understand the seasonal and annual variability of the total and modal particle concentration. Number concentrations exhibited a diurnal pattern with maximum concentrations around noon. This was governed by the concentrations of the nucleation and Aitken modes during the warm seasons and only by the nucleation mode during the cold seasons. Similar monthly mean total concentrations were observed throughout the year due to a clear inverse variation between the monthly mean NNUC and NACC. It was related to the impact of desert dust and continental air masses on the monthly mean particle levels. These air masses were associated with high values of NACC which suppressed the new particle formation (decreasing NNUC). Each day was classified according to a land breeze flow or a synoptic pattern influence. The median size distribution for desert dust and continental aerosol was dominated by the Aitken and accumulation modes, and marine air masses were dominated by the nucleation and Aitken modes. Particles moved offshore due to the land breeze and had an impact on the particle burden at noon, especially when the wind was blowing from the NW sector in the morning during summer time. This increased NNUC and NAIT by factors of 3.1 and 2.4, respectively. Nucleation events with the typical "banana" shape were characterised by a mean particle nucleation rate of 0.74 cm−3 s−1, a mean growth rate of 1.96 nm h−1 and a mean total duration of 9.25 h (starting at 10:55 GMT and ending at 20:10 GMT). They were observed for 48 days. Other nucleation events were identified as those produced by the emissions from the industrial areas located at a distance of 35 km. They were observed for 42 days. Both nucleation events were strongly linked to the marine air mass origin.
  • Item
    Analysis of nucleation events in the European boundary layer using the regional aerosol-climate model REMO-HAM with a solar radiation-driven OH-proxy
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Pietikäinen, J.-P.; Mikkonen, S.; Hamed, A.; Hienola, A.I.; Birmili, W.; Kulmala, M.; Laaksonen, A.
    This work describes improvements in the regional aerosol–climate model REMO-HAM in order to simulate more realistically the process of atmospheric new particle formation (NPF). A new scheme was implemented to simulate OH radical concentrations using a proxy approach based on observations and also accounting for the effects of clouds upon OH concentrations. Second, the nucleation rate calculation was modified to directly simulate the formation rates of 3 nm particles, which removes some unnecessary steps in the formation rate calculations used earlier in the model. Using the updated model version, NPF over Europe was simulated for the periods 2003–2004 and 2008–2009. The statistics of the simulated particle formation events were subsequently compared to observations from 13 ground-based measurement sites. The new model shows improved agreement with the observed NPF rates compared to former versions and can simulate the event statistics realistically for most parts of Europe.
  • Item
    Characteristics of regional new particle formation in urban and regional background environments in the North China Plain
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Wang, Z.B.; Hu, M.; Sun, J.Y.; Wu, Z.J.; Yue, D.L.; Shen, X.J.; Zhang, Y.M.; Pei, X.Y.; Cheng, Y.F.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Long-term measurements of particle number size distributions were carried out both at an urban background site (Peking University, PKU) and a regional Global Atmospheric Watch station (Shangdianzi, SDZ) from March to November in 2008. In total, 52 new particle formation (NPF) events were observed simultaneously at both sites, indicating that this is a regional phenomenon in the North China Plain. On average, the mean condensation sink value before the nucleation events started was 0.025 s−1 in the urban environment, which was 1.6 times higher than that at regional site. However, higher particle formation and growth rates were observed at PKU (10.8 cm−3 s−1 and 5.2 nm h−1) compared with those at SDZ (4.9 cm−3 s−1 and 4.0 nm h−1). These results implied that precursors were much more abundant in the polluted urban environment. Different from the observations in cleaner environments, the background conditions of the observed particle homogeneous nucleation events in the North China Plain could be characterized as the co-existing of a stronger source of precursor gases and a higher condensational sink of pre-existing aerosol particles. Secondary aerosol formation following nucleation events results in an increase of particle mass concentration, particle light scattering coefficient, and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) number concentration, with consequences on visibility, radiative effects, and air quality. Typical regional NPF events with significant particle nucleation rates and subsequent particle growth over a sufficiently long time period at both sites were chosen to investigate the influence of NPF on the number concentration of "potential" CCN. As a result, the NPF and the subsequent condensable growth increased the CCN number concentration in the North China Plain by factors in the range from 5.6 to 8.7. Moreover, the potential contribution of anthropogenic emissions to the CCN number concentration was more than 50%, to which more attention should be drawn in regional and global climate modeling, especially in the polluted urban areas.
  • Item
    Formation and growth of nucleated particles into cloud condensation nuclei: Model-measurement comparison
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Westervelt, D.M.; Pierce, J.R.; Riipinen, I.; Trivitayanurak, W.; Hamed, A.; Kulmala, M.; Laaksonen, A.; Decesari, S.; Adams, P.J.
    Aerosol nucleation occurs frequently in the atmosphere and is an important source of particle number. Observations suggest that nucleated particles are capable of growing to sufficiently large sizes that they act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), but some global models have reported that CCN concentrations are only modestly sensitive to large changes in nucleation rates. Here we present a novel approach for using long-term size distribution observations to evaluate a global aerosol model's ability to predict formation rates of CCN from nucleation and growth events. We derive from observations at five locations nucleation-relevant metrics such as nucleation rate of particles at diameter of 3 nm (J3), diameter growth rate (GR), particle survival probability (SP), condensation and coagulation sinks, and CCN formation rate (J100). These quantities are also derived for a global microphysical model, GEOS-Chem-TOMAS, and compared to the observations on a daily basis. Using GEOS-Chem-TOMAS, we simulate nucleation events predicted by ternary (with a 10−5 tuning factor) or activation nucleation over one year and find that the model slightly understates the observed annual-average CCN formation mostly due to bias in the nucleation rate predictions, but by no more than 50% in the ternary simulations. At the two locations expected to be most impacted by large-scale regional nucleation, Hyytiälä and San Pietro Capofiume, predicted annual-average CCN formation rates are within 34 and 2% of the observations, respectively. Model-predicted annual-average growth rates are within 25% across all sites but also show a slight tendency to underestimate the observations, at least in the ternary nucleation simulations. On days that the growing nucleation mode reaches 100 nm, median single-day survival probabilities to 100 nm for the model and measurements range from less than 1–6% across the five locations we considered; however, this does not include particles that may eventually grow to 100 nm after the first day. This detailed exploration of new particle formation and growth dynamics adds support to the use of global models as tools for assessing the contribution of microphysical processes such as nucleation to the total number and CCN budget.
  • Item
    Enhancement of atmospheric H2SO4/H2O nucleation: Organic oxidation products versus amines
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Berndt, T.; Sipilä, M.; Stratmann, F.; Petäjä, T.; Vanhanen, J.; Mikkilä, J.; Patokoski, J.; Taipale, R.; Mauldin III, R.L.; Kulmala, M.
    Atmospheric H2SO4 / H2O nucleation influencing effects have been studied in the flow tube IfT-LFT (Institute for Tropospheric Research – Laminar Flow Tube) at 293 ± 0.5 K and a pressure of 1 bar using synthetic air as the carrier gas. The presence of a possible background amine concentration in the order of 107–108 molecule cm−3 throughout the experiments has to be taken into account. In a first set of investigations, ozonolysis of olefins (tetramethylethylene, 1-methyl-cyclohexene, α-pinene and limonene) for close to atmospheric concentrations, served as the source of OH radicals and possibly other oxidants initiating H2SO4 formation starting from SO2. The oxidant generation is inevitably associated with the formation of organic oxidation products arising from the parent olefins. These products (first generation mainly) showed no clear effect on the number of nucleated particles within a wide range of experimental conditions for H2SO4 concentrations higher than ~107 molecule cm−3. Also the early growth process of the nucleated particles was not significantly influenced by the organic oxidation products in line with the expected growth by organic products using literature data. An additional, H2SO4-independent process of particle (nano-CN) formation was observed in the case of α-pinene and limonene ozonolysis for H2SO4 concentrations smaller than ~107 molecule cm−3. Furthermore, the findings confirm the appearance of an additional oxidant for SO2 beside OH radicals, very likely stabilized Criegee Intermediates (sCI). A second set of experiments has been performed in the presence of added amines in the concentrations range of a few 107–1010 molecule cm−3 applying photolytic OH radical generation for H2SO4 production without addition of other organics. All amines showed significant nucleation enhancement with increasing efficiency in the order pyridine < aniline < dimethylamine < trimethylamine. This result supports the idea of H2SO4 cluster stabilization by amines due to strong H2SO4↔amine interactions. On the other hand, this study indicates that for organic oxidation products (in presence of the possible amine background as stated) a distinct H2SO4 / H2O nucleation enhancement can be due to increased H2SO4 formation caused by additional organic oxidant production (sCI) rather than by stabilization of H2SO4 clusters due to H2SO4↔organics interactions.
  • Item
    Ion-particle interactions during particle formation and growth at a coniferous forest site in central Europe
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Gonser, S.G.; Klein, F.; Birmili, W.; Größ, J.; Kulmala, M.; Manninen, H.E.; Wiedensohler, A.; Held, A.
    In this work, we examined the interaction of ions and neutral particles during atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) events. The analysis is based on simultaneous field measurements of atmospheric ions and total particles using a neutral cluster and air ion spectrometer (NAIS) across the diameter range 2–25 nm. The Waldstein research site is located in a spruce forest in NE Bavaria, Southern Germany, known for enhanced radon concentrations, presumably leading to elevated ionization rates. Our observations show that the occurrence of the ion nucleation mode preceded that of the total particle nucleation mode during all analyzed NPF events. The time difference between the appearance of 2 nm ions and 2 nm total particles was typically about 20 to 30 min. A cross correlation analysis showed a rapid decrease of the time difference between the ion and total modes during the growth process. Eventually, this time delay vanished when both ions and total particles did grow to larger diameters. Considering the growth rates of ions and total particles separately, total particles exhibited enhanced growth rates at diameters below 15 nm. This observation cannot be explained by condensation or coagulation, because these processes would act more efficiently on charged particles compared to neutral particles. To explain our observations, we propose a mechanism including recombination and attachment of continuously present cluster ions with the ion nucleation mode and the neutral nucleation mode, respectively.
  • Item
    Simulating ultrafine particle formation in Europe using a regional CTM: Contribution of primary emissions versus secondary formation to aerosol number concentrations
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Fountoukis, C.; Riipinen, I.; Denier van der Gon, H.A.C.; Charalampidis, P.E.; Pilinis, C.; Wiedensohler, A.; O'Dowd, C.; Putaud, J.P.; Moerman, M.; Pandis, S.N.
    A three-dimensional regional chemical transport model (CTM) with detailed aerosol microphysics, PMCAMx-UF, was applied to the European domain to simulate the contribution of direct emissions and secondary formation to total particle number concentrations during May 2008. PMCAMx-UF uses the Dynamic Model for Aerosol Nucleation and the Two-Moment Aerosol Sectional (TOMAS) algorithm to track both aerosol number and mass concentration using a sectional approach. The model predicts nucleation events that occur over scales of hundreds up to thousands of kilometers especially over the Balkans and Southeast Europe. The model predictions were compared against measurements from 7 sites across Europe. The model reproduces more than 70% of the hourly concentrations of particles larger than 10 nm (N10) within a factor of 2. About half of these particles are predicted to originate from nucleation in the lower troposphere. Regional nucleation is predicted to increase the total particle number concentration by approximately a factor of 3. For particles larger than 100 nm the effect varies from an increase of 20% in the eastern Mediterranean to a decrease of 20% in southern Spain and Portugal resulting in a small average increase of around 1% over the whole domain. Nucleation has a significant effect in the predicted N50 levels (up to a factor of 2 increase) mainly in areas where there are condensable vapors to grow the particles to larger sizes. A semi-empirical ternary sulfuric acid-ammonia-water parameterization performs better than the activation or the kinetic parameterizations in reproducing the observations. Reducing emissions of ammonia and sulfur dioxide affects certain parts of the number size distribution.
  • Item
    Results from the CERN pilot CLOUD experiment
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2010) Duplissy, J.; Enghoff, M.B.; Aplin, K.L.; Arnold, F.; Aufmhoff, H.; Avngaard, M.; Baltensperger, U.; Bondo, T.; Bingham, R.; Carslaw, K.; Curtius, J.; David, A.; Fastrup, B.; Gagné, S.; Hahn, F.; Harrison, R.G.; Kellett, B.; Kirkby, J.; Kulmala, M.; Laakso, L.; Laaksonen, A.; Lillestol, E.; Lockwood, M.; Mäkelä, J.; Makhmutov, V.; Marsh, N.D.; Nieminen, T.; Onnela, A.; Pedersen, E.; Pedersen, J.O.P.; Polny, J.; Reichl, U.; Seinfeld, J.H.; Sipilä, M.; Stozhkov, Y.; Stratmann, F.; Svensmark, H.; Svensmark, J.; Veenhof, R.; Verheggen, B.; Viisanen, Y.; Wagner, P.E.; Wehrle, G.; Weingartner, E.; Wex, H.; Wilhelmsson, M.; Winkler, P.M.
    During a 4-week run in October–November 2006, a pilot experiment was performed at the CERN Proton Synchrotron in preparation for the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) experiment, whose aim is to study the possible influence of cosmic rays on clouds. The purpose of the pilot experiment was firstly to carry out exploratory measurements of the effect of ionising particle radiation on aerosol formation from trace H2SO4 vapour and secondly to provide technical input for the CLOUD design. A total of 44 nucleation bursts were produced and recorded, with formation rates of particles above the 3 nm detection threshold of between 0.1 and 100 cm−3s−1, and growth rates between 2 and 37 nm h−1. The corresponding H2O concentrations were typically around 106 cm−3 or less. The experimentally-measured formation rates and \htwosofour concentrations are comparable to those found in the atmosphere, supporting the idea that sulphuric acid is involved in the nucleation of atmospheric aerosols. However, sulphuric acid alone is not able to explain the observed rapid growth rates, which suggests the presence of additional trace vapours in the aerosol chamber, whose identity is unknown. By analysing the charged fraction, a few of the aerosol bursts appear to have a contribution from ion-induced nucleation and ion-ion recombination to form neutral clusters. Some indications were also found for the accelerator beam timing and intensity to influence the aerosol particle formation rate at the highest experimental SO2 concentrations of 6 ppb, although none was found at lower concentrations. Overall, the exploratory measurements provide suggestive evidence for ion-induced nucleation or ion-ion recombination as sources of aerosol particles. However in order to quantify the conditions under which ion processes become significant, improvements are needed in controlling the experimental variables and in the reproducibility of the experiments. Finally, concerning technical aspects, the most important lessons for the CLOUD design include the stringent requirement of internal cleanliness of the aerosol chamber, as well as maintenance of extremely stable temperatures (variations below 0.1 °C
  • Item
    The simulations of sulfuric acid concentration and new particle formation in an urban atmosphere in China
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Wang, Z.B.; Hu, M.; Mogensen, D.; Yue, D.L.; Zheng, J.; Zhang, R.Y.; Liu, Y.; Yuan, B.; Li, X.; Shao, M.; Zhou, L.; Wu, Z.J.; Wiedensohler, A.; Boy, M.
    Simulations of sulfuric acid concentration and new particle formation are performed by using the zero-dimensional version of the model MALTE (Model to predict new Aerosol formation in the Lower TropospherE) and measurements from the Campaign of Air Quality Research in Beijing and Surrounding areas (CAREBeijing) in 2008. Chemical reactions from the Master Chemical Mechanism version 3.2 (MCM v3.2) are used in the model. High correlation (slope = 0.72, R = 0.74) between the modelled and observed sulfuric acid concentrations is found during daytime (06:00–18:00). The aerosol dynamics are simulated by the University of Helsinki Multicomponent Aerosol (UHMA) model including several nucleation mechanisms. The results indicate that the model is able to predict the on- and offset of new particle formation in an urban atmosphere in China. In addition, the number concentrations of newly formed particles in kinetic-type nucleation including homogenous homomolecular (J=K[H2SO4]2) and homogenous heteromolecular nucleation involving organic vapours (J=Khet[H2SO4][Org]) are in satisfactory agreement with the observations. However, the specific organic compounds that possibly participate in the nucleation process should be investigated in further studies. For the particle growth, only a small fraction of the oxidized total organics condense onto the particles in polluted environments. Meanwhile, the OH and O3 oxidation mechanism contribute 5.5% and 94.5% to the volume concentration of small particles, indicating the particle growth is more controlled by the precursor gases and their oxidation by O3.