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    Mobility particle size spectrometers: Harmonization of technical standards and data structure to facilitate high quality long-term observations of atmospheric particle number size distributions
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Wiedensohler, A.; Birmili, W.; Nowak, A.; Sonntag, A.; Weinhold, K.; Merkel, M.; Wehner, B.; Tuch, T.; Pfeifer, S.; Fiebig, M.; Fjäraa, A.M.; Asmi, E.; Sellegri, K.; Depuy, R.; Venzac, H.; Villani, P.; Laj, P.; Aalto, P.; Ogren, J.A.; Swietlick, E.; Williams, P.; Roldin, P.; Quincey, P.; Hüglin, C.; Fierz-Schmidhauser, R.; Gysel, M.; Weingartner, E.; Riccobono, F.; Santos, S.; Grüning, C.; Faloon, K.; Beddows, D.; Harrison, R.; Monahan, C.; Jennings, S.G.; O'Dowd, C.D.; Marinoni, A.; Horn, H.-G.; Keck, L.; Jiang, J.; Scheckman, J.; McMurry, P.H.; Deng, Z.; Zhao, C.S.; Moerman, M.; Henzing, B.; de Leeuw, G.; Löschau, G.; Bastian, S.
    Mobility particle size spectrometers often referred to as DMPS (Differential Mobility Particle Sizers) or SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizers) have found a wide range of applications in atmospheric aerosol research. However, comparability of measurements conducted world-wide is hampered by lack of generally accepted technical standards and guidelines with respect to the instrumental set-up, measurement mode, data evaluation as well as quality control. Technical standards were developed for a minimum requirement of mobility size spectrometry to perform long-term atmospheric aerosol measurements. Technical recommendations include continuous monitoring of flow rates, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity for the sheath and sample air in the differential mobility analyzer. We compared commercial and custom-made inversion routines to calculate the particle number size distributions from the measured electrical mobility distribution. All inversion routines are comparable within few per cent uncertainty for a given set of raw data. Furthermore, this work summarizes the results from several instrument intercomparison workshops conducted within the European infrastructure project EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research) and ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network) to determine present uncertainties especially of custom-built mobility particle size spectrometers. Under controlled laboratory conditions, the particle number size distributions from 20 to 200 nm determined by mobility particle size spectrometers of different design are within an uncertainty range of around ±10% after correcting internal particle losses, while below and above this size range the discrepancies increased. For particles larger than 200 nm, the uncertainty range increased to 30%, which could not be explained. The network reference mobility spectrometers with identical design agreed within ±4% in the peak particle number concentration when all settings were done carefully. The consistency of these reference instruments to the total particle number concentration was demonstrated to be less than 5%. Additionally, a new data structure for particle number size distributions was introduced to store and disseminate the data at EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Program). This structure contains three levels: raw data, processed data, and final particle size distributions. Importantly, we recommend reporting raw measurements including all relevant instrument parameters as well as a complete documentation on all data transformation and correction steps. These technical and data structure standards aim to enhance the quality of long-term size distribution measurements, their comparability between different networks and sites, and their transparency and traceability back to raw data.
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    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.
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    Cloud condensation nuclei in polluted air and biomass burning smoke near the mega-city Guangzhou, China – Part 2: Size-resolved aerosol chemical composition, diurnal cycles, and externally mixed weakly CCN-active soot particles
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Rose, D.; Gunthe, S.S.; Su, H.; Garland, R.M.; Yang, H.; Berghof, M.; Cheng, Y.F.; Wehner, B.; Achtert, P.; Nowak, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Takegawa, N.; Kondo, Y.; Hu, M.; Zhang, Y.; Andreae, M.O.; Pöschl, U.
    Size-resolved chemical composition, mixing state, and cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) activity of aerosol particles in polluted mega-city air and biomass burning smoke were measured during the PRIDE-PRD2006 campaign near Guangzhou, China, using an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS), a volatility tandem differential mobility analyzer (VTDMA), and a continuous-flow CCN counter (DMT-CCNC). The size-dependence and temporal variations of the effective average hygroscopicity parameter for CCN-active particles (κa) could be parameterized as a function of organic and inorganic mass fractions (forg, finorg) determined by the AMS: κa,p=κorg·forg + κinorg·finorg. The characteristic κ values of organic and inorganic components were similar to those observed in other continental regions of the world: κorg≈0.1 and κinorg≈0.6. The campaign average κa values increased with particle size from ~0.25 at ~50 nm to ~0.4 at ~200 nm, while forg decreased with particle size. At ~50 nm, forg was on average 60% and increased to almost 100% during a biomass burning event. The VTDMA results and complementary aerosol optical data suggest that the large fractions of CCN-inactive particles observed at low supersaturations (up to 60% at S≤0.27%) were externally mixed weakly CCN-active soot particles with low volatility (diameter reduction <5% at 300 °C) and effective hygroscopicity parameters around κLV≈0.01. A proxy for the effective average hygroscopicity of the total ensemble of CCN-active particles including weakly CCN-active particles (κt) could be parameterized as a function of κa,p and the number fraction of low volatility particles determined by VTDMA (φLV): κt,p=κa,p−φLV·(κa,p−κLV). Based on κ values derived from AMS and VTDMA data, the observed CCN number concentrations (NCCN,S≈102–104 cm−3 at S = 0.068–0.47%) could be efficiently predicted from the measured particle number size distribution. The mean relative deviations between observed and predicted CCN concentrations were ~10% when using κt,p, and they increased to ~20% when using only κa,p. The mean relative deviations were not higher (~20%) when using an approximate continental average value of κ≈0.3, although the constant κ value cannot account for the observed temporal variations in particle composition and mixing state (diurnal cycles and biomass burning events). Overall, the results confirm that on a global and climate modeling scale an average value of κ≈0.3 can be used for approximate predictions of CCN number concentrations in continental boundary layer air when aerosol size distribution data are available without information about chemical composition. Bulk or size-resolved data on aerosol chemical composition enable improved CCN predictions resolving regional and temporal variations, but the composition data need to be highly accurate and complemented by information about particle mixing state to achieve high precision (relative deviations <20%).
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    CCN measurements at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica research station during three austral summers
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2019) Herenz, P.; Wex, H.; Mangold, A.; Laffineur, Q.; Gorodetskaya, I.V.; Fleming, Z.L.; Panagi, M.; Stratmann, F.
    For three austral summer seasons (2013-2016, each from December to February) aerosol particles arriving at the Belgian Antarctic research station Princess Elisabeth (PE) in Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica were characterized. This included number concentrations of total aerosol particles (N CN ) and cloud condensation nuclei (N CCN ), the particle number size distribution (PNSD), the aerosol particle hygroscopicity, and the influence of the air mass origin on N CN and N CCN . In general N CN was found to range from 40 to 6700cm -3 , with a median of 333cm -3 , while N CCN was found to cover a range between less than 10 and 1300cm-3 for supersaturations (SSs) between 0.1% and 0.7%. It is shown that the aerosol is dominated by the Aitken mode, being characterized by a significant amount of small, and therefore likely secondarily formed, aerosol particles, with 94% and 36% of the aerosol particles smaller than 90 and ≈35nm, respectively. Measurements of the basic meteorological parameters as well as the history of the air masses arriving at the measurement station indicate that the station is influenced by both marine air masses originating from the Southern Ocean and coastal areas around Antarctica (marine events - MEs) and continental air masses (continental events - CEs). CEs, which were defined as instances when the air masses spent at least 90% of the time over the Antarctic continent during the last 10 days prior to arrival at the measurements station, occurred during 61% of the time during which measurements were done. CEs came along with rather constant N CN and N CCN values, which we denote as Antarctic continental background concentrations. MEs, however, cause large fluctuations in N CN and N CCN , with low concentrations likely caused by scavenging due to precipitation and high concentrations likely originating from new particle formation (NPF) based on marine precursors. The application of HYSPLIT back trajectories in form of the potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis indicate that the region of the Southern Ocean is a potential source of Aitken mode particles. On the basis of PNSDs, together with N CCN measured at an SS of 0.1%, median values for the critical diameter for cloud droplet activation and the aerosol particle hygroscopicity parameter ° were determined to be 110nm and 1, respectively. For particles larger than ĝ‰110nm the Southern Ocean together with parts of the Antarctic ice shelf regions were found to be potential source regions. While the former may contribute sea spray particles directly, the contribution of the latter may be due to the emission of sea salt aerosol particles, released from snow particles from surface snow layers, e.g., during periods of high wind speed, leading to drifting or blowing snow. The region of the Antarctic inland plateau, however, was not found to feature a significant source region for aerosol particles in general or page276 for cloud condensation nuclei measured at the PE station in the austral summer.
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    Comparison of particle number size distribution trends in ground measurements and climate models
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2022) Leinonen, Ville; Kokkola, Harri; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Mielonen, Tero; Kühn, Thomas; Nieminen, Tuomo; Heikkinen, Simo; Miinalainen, Tuuli; Bergman, Tommi; Carslaw, Ken; Decesari, Stefano; Fiebig, Markus; Hussein, Tareq; Kivekäs, Niku; Krejci, Radovan; Kulmala, Markku; Leskinen, Ari; Massling, Andreas; Mihalopoulos, Nikos; Mulcahy, Jane P.; Noe, Steffen M.; van Noije, Twan; O'Connor, Fiona M.; O'Dowd, Colin; Olivie, Dirk; Pernov, Jakob B.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Seland, Øyvind; Schulz, Michael; Scott, Catherine E.; Skov, Henrik; Swietlicki, Erik; Tuch, Thomas; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Virtanen, Annele; Mikkonen, Santtu
    Despite a large number of studies, out of all drivers of radiative forcing, the effect of aerosols has the largest uncertainty in global climate model radiative forcing estimates. There have been studies of aerosol optical properties in climate models, but the effects of particle number size distribution need a more thorough inspection. We investigated the trends and seasonality of particle number concentrations in nucleation, Aitken, and accumulation modes at 21 measurement sites in Europe and the Arctic. For 13 of those sites, with longer measurement time series, we compared the field observations with the results from five climate models, namely EC-Earth3, ECHAM-M7, ECHAM-SALSA, NorESM1.2, and UKESM1. This is the first extensive comparison of detailed aerosol size distribution trends between in situ observations from Europe and five earth system models (ESMs). We found that the trends of particle number concentrations were mostly consistent and decreasing in both measurements and models. However, for many sites, climate models showed weaker decreasing trends than the measurements. Seasonal variability in measured number concentrations, quantified by the ratio between maximum and minimum monthly number concentration, was typically stronger at northern measurement sites compared to other locations. Models had large differences in their seasonal representation, and they can be roughly divided into two categories: for EC-Earth and NorESM, the seasonal cycle was relatively similar for all sites, and for other models the pattern of seasonality varied between northern and southern sites. In addition, the variability in concentrations across sites varied between models, some having relatively similar concentrations for all sites, whereas others showed clear differences in concentrations between remote and urban sites. To conclude, although all of the model simulations had identical input data to describe anthropogenic mass emissions, trends in differently sized particles vary among the models due to assumptions in emission sizes and differences in how models treat size-dependent aerosol processes. The inter-model variability was largest in the accumulation mode, i.e. sizes which have implications for aerosol-cloud interactions. Our analysis also indicates that between models there is a large variation in efficiency of long-range transportation of aerosols to remote locations. The differences in model results are most likely due to the more complex effect of different processes instead of one specific feature (e.g. the representation of aerosol or emission size distributions). Hence, a more detailed characterization of microphysical processes and deposition processes affecting the long-range transport is needed to understand the model variability.
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    Size distribution, mass concentration, chemical and mineralogical composition and derived optical parameters of the boundary layer aerosol at Tinfou, Morocco, during SAMUM 2006
    (Milton Park : Taylor & Francis, 2017) Kandler, K.; Schütz, L.; Deutscher, C.; Ebert, M.; Hofmann, H.; Jäckel, S.; Jaenicke, R.; Knippertz, P.; Lieke, K.; Massling, A.; Petzold, A.; Schladitz, A.; Weinzierl, B.; Wiedensohler, A.; Zorn, S.; Weinbruch, S.
    During the SAMUM 2006 field campaign in southern Morocco, physical and chemical properties of desert aerosols were measured. Mass concentrations ranging from 30μgm−3 for PM2.5 under desert background conditions up to 300 000μgm−3 for total suspended particles (TSP) during moderate dust storms were measured. TSP dust concentrations are correlated with the local wind speed, whereasPM10 andPM2.5 concentrations are determined by advection from distant sources. Size distributions were measured for particles with diameter between 20 nm and 500μm (parametrizations are given). Two major regimes of the size spectrum can be distinguished. For particles smaller than 500 nm diameter, the distributions show maxima around 80 nm, widely unaffected of varying meteorological and dust emission conditions. For particles larger than 500 nm, the range of variation may be up to one order of magnitude and up to three orders of magnitude for particles larger than 10μm. The mineralogical composition of aerosol bulk samples was measured by X-ray powder diffraction. Major constituents of the aerosol are quartz, potassium feldspar, plagioclase, calcite, hematite and the clay minerals illite, kaolinite and chlorite. A small temporal variability of the bulk mineralogical composition was encountered. The chemical composition of approximately 74 000 particles was determined by electron microscopic single particle analysis. Three size regimes are identified: for smaller than 500 nm in diameter, the aerosol consists of sulphates and mineral dust. For larger than 500 nm up to 50μm, mineral dust dominates, consisting mainly of silicates, and—to a lesser extent—carbonates and quartz. For diameters larger than 50μm, approximately half of the particles consist of quartz. Time series of the elemental composition show a moderate temporal variability of the major compounds. Calcium-dominated particles are enhanced during advection from a prominent dust source in Northern Africa (Chott El Djerid and surroundings). The particle aspect ratio was measured for all analysed particles. Its size dependence reflects that of the chemical composition. For larger than 500 nm particle diameter, a median aspect ratio of 1.6 is measured. Towards smaller particles, it decreases to about 1.3 (parametrizations are given). From the chemical/mineralogical composition, the aerosol complex refractive index was determined for several wavelengths from ultraviolet to near-infrared. Both real and imaginary parts show lower values for particles smaller than 500 nm in diameter (1.55–2.8 × 10−3i at 530 nm) and slightly higher values for larger particles (1.57–3.7 × 10−3i at 530 nm).
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    Modelling of sea salt concentrations over Europe: Key uncertainties and comparison with observations
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Tsyro, S.; Aas, W.; Soares, J.; Sofiev, M.; Berge, H.; Spindler, G.
    Sea salt aerosol can significantly affect the air quality. Sea salt can cause enhanced concentrations of particulate matter and change particle chemical composition, in particular in coastal areas, and therefore should be accounted for in air quality modelling. We have used an EMEP Unified model to calculate sea salt concentrations and depositions over Europe, focusing on studying the effects of uncertainties in sea salt production and lifetime on calculation results. Model calculations of sea salt have been compared with EMEP observations of sodium concentrations in air and precipitation for a four year period, from 2004 to 2007, including size (fine/coarse) resolved EMEP intensive measurements in 2006 and 2007. In the presented calculations, sodium air concentrations are between 8% and 46% overestimated, whereas concentrations in precipitation are systematically underestimated by 65–70% for years 2004–2007. A series of model tests have been performed to investigate the reasons for this underestimation, but further studies are needed. The model is found to reproduce the spatial distribution of Na+ in air and precipitation over Europe fairly well, and to capture most of sea salt episodes. The paper presents the main findings from a series of tests in which we compare several different sea spray source functions and also look at the effects of meteorological input and the efficiency of removal processes on calculated sea salt concentrations. Finally, sea salt calculations with the EMEP model have been compared with results from the SILAM model and observations for 2007. While the models produce quite close results for Na+ at the majority of 26 measurement sites, discrepancies in terms of bias and temporal correlation are also found. Those differences are believed to occur due to differences in the representation of source function and size distribution of sea salt aerosol, different meteorology used for model runs and the different models' resolution. This study contributes to getting a better insight on uncertainties associated with sea salt calculations and thus facilitates further improvement of aerosol modelling on both regional and global scales.
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    Aerosol size-resolved trace metal composition in remote northern tropical atlantic marine environment: Case study cape verde islands
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Fomba, K.W.; Müller, K.; van Pinxteren, D.; Herrmann, H.
    Size-resolved trace metal concentrations of 15 elements in aerosol particles at the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) under remote background conditions were investigated through analysis of aerosol samples collected during intensive field studies from January 2007 to November 2011 using total reflection x-ray fluorescence (TXRF). The identification of the main air mass origin that influence remote marine aerosol in the northern tropical Atlantic has been investigated. In total, 317 samples were collected. The dataset was analyzed according to the main air mass inflow at the station. We found that remote conditions make up about 45% of the meteorological conditions in a year at CVAO and thus the northern tropical Atlantic. Surprisingly, air masses from North America are often responsible for higher trace metal concentrations in this region. Elements such as Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, and V were mostly found in the submicron size fractions, while elements with dominant crustal or oceanic origin such as Fe, Ti, Mn, Sr, and Rb were found in the coarse fractions (>1 μm). The highest metal concentrations, especially for Zn (3.23 ng m−3), Cu (0.81 ng m−3), Sr (2.63 ng m−3), and Cr (0.53 ng m−3), were observed in air masses originating from North America and the concentrations were within the same concentration range to those reported previously in the literature for remote marine aerosols. Fe (12.26 ng m−3), Ti (0.91 ng m−3), and Mn (0.35 ng m−3) showed higher concentrations when air mass came from Europe and the Canary Islands. Pb concentration was low (<0.20 ng m−3) and did not vary significantly with air mass direction. The low Pb concentration is indicative of the complete phase-out of leaded gasoline even in African countries. Crustal enrichment factor values decreased from fine to coarse-mode particles with low values (<4) observed for Fe, Mn, and Rb, and high values (>20) for Zn, Cu, Ni, Cr, Pb, and Se. The observed enrichment of the elements was attributed to crustal, marine, anthropogenic, and biogenic sources, as well as long-range transport and resuspension. Zn, Cu and Pb were indicators of anthropogenic activities, while Ti and Sr were indicators of crustal and marine origin, respectively. Oceanic and biogenic emissions might have contributed to most of the Se observed. This work provides the first long-term size-resolved trace metals study for remote tropical northern Atlantic marine aerosols and the dataset could serve as good initiation of yearly flux estimates.
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    Aerosol particle number size distributions and particulate light absorption at the ZOTTO tall tower (Siberia), 2006–2009
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Heintzenberg, J.; Birmili, W.; Otto, R.; Andreae, M.O.; Mayer, J.-C.; Chi, X.; Panov, A.
    This paper analyses aerosol particle number size distributions, particulate absorption at 570 nm wavelength and carbon monoxide (CO) measured between September 2006 and January 2010 at heights of 50 and 300 m at the Zotino Tall Tower Facility (ZOTTO) in Siberia (60.8° N; 89.35° E). Average number, surface and volume concentrations are broadly comparable to former studies covering shorter observation periods. Fits of multiple lognormal distributions yielded three maxima in probability distribution of geometric mean diameters in the Aitken and accumulation size range and a possible secondary maximum in the nucleation size range below 25 nm. The seasonal cycle of particulate absorption shows maximum concentrations in high winter (December) and minimum concentrations in mid-summer (July). The 90th percentile, however, indicates a secondary maximum in July/August that is likely related to forest fires. The strongly combustion derived CO shows a single winter maximum and a late summer minimum, albeit with a considerably smaller seasonal swing than the particle data due to its longer atmospheric lifetime. Total volume and even more so total number show a more complex seasonal variation with maxima in winter, spring, and summer. A cluster analysis of back trajectories and vertical profiles of the pseudo-potential temperature yielded ten clusters with three levels of particle number concentration: Low concentrations in Arctic air masses (400–500 cm−3), mid-level concentrations for zonally advected air masses from westerly directions between 55° and 65° N (600–800 cm−3), and high concentrations for air masses advected from the belt of industrial and population centers in Siberia and Kazakhstan (1200 cm−3). The observational data is representative for large parts of the troposphere over Siberia and might be particularly useful for the validation of global aerosol transport models.
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    Number size distributions and seasonality of submicron particles in Europe 2008–2009
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Asmi, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Laj, P.; Fjaeraa, A.-M.; Sellegri, K.; Birmili, W.; Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger, U.; Zdimal, V.; Zikova, N.; Putaud, J.-P.; Marinoni, A.; Tunved, P.; Hansson, H.-C.; Fiebig, M.; Kivekäs, N.; Lihavainen, H.; Asmi, E.; Ulevicius, V.; Aalto, P.P.; Swietlicki, E.; Kristensson, A.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Kalivitis, N.; Kalapov, I.; Kiss, G.; de Leeuw, G.; Henzing, B.; Harrison, R.M.; Beddows, D.; O'Dowd, C.; Jennings, S.G.; Flentje, H.; Weinhold, K.; Meinhardt, F.; Ries, L.; Kulmala, M.
    Two years of harmonized aerosol number size distribution data from 24 European field monitoring sites have been analysed. The results give a comprehensive overview of the European near surface aerosol particle number concentrations and number size distributions between 30 and 500 nm of dry particle diameter. Spatial and temporal distribution of aerosols in the particle sizes most important for climate applications are presented. We also analyse the annual, weekly and diurnal cycles of the aerosol number concentrations, provide log-normal fitting parameters for median number size distributions, and give guidance notes for data users. Emphasis is placed on the usability of results within the aerosol modelling community. We also show that the aerosol number concentrations of Aitken and accumulation mode particles (with 100 nm dry diameter as a cut-off between modes) are related, although there is significant variation in the ratios of the modal number concentrations. Different aerosol and station types are distinguished from this data and this methodology has potential for further categorization of stations aerosol number size distribution types. The European submicron aerosol was divided into characteristic types: Central European aerosol, characterized by single mode median size distributions, unimodal number concentration histograms and low variability in CCN-sized aerosol number concentrations; Nordic aerosol with low number concentrations, although showing pronounced seasonal variation of especially Aitken mode particles; Mountain sites (altitude over 1000 m a.s.l.) with a strong seasonal cycle in aerosol number concentrations, high variability, and very low median number concentrations. Southern and Western European regions had fewer stations, which decreases the regional coverage of these results. Aerosol number concentrations over the Britain and Ireland had very high variance and there are indications of mixed air masses from several source regions; the Mediterranean aerosol exhibit high seasonality, and a strong accumulation mode in the summer. The greatest concentrations were observed at the Ispra station in Northern Italy with high accumulation mode number concentrations in the winter. The aerosol number concentrations at the Arctic station Zeppelin in Ny-\AA lesund in Svalbard have also a strong seasonal cycle, with greater concentrations of accumulation mode particles in winter, and dominating summer Aitken mode indicating more recently formed particles. Observed particles did not show any statistically significant regional work-week or weekday related variation in number concentrations studied. Analysis products are made for open-access to the research community, available in a freely accessible internet site. The results give to the modelling community a reliable, easy-to-use and freely available comparison dataset of aerosol size distributions.