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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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    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.
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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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    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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    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.
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    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.
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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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    In situ formation and spatial variability of particle number concentration in a European megacity
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Pikridas, M.; Sciare, J.; Freutel, F.; Crumeyrolle, S.; von der Weiden-Reinmüller, S.-L.; Borbon, A.; Schwarzenboeck, A.; Merkel, M.; Crippa, M.; Kostenidou, E.; Psichoudaki, M.; Hildebrandt, L.; Engelhart, G.J.; Petäjä, T.; Prévôt, A.S.H.; Drewnick, F.; Baltensperger, U.; Wiedensohler, A.; Kulmala, M.; Beekmann, M.; Pandis, S.N.
    Ambient particle number size distributions were measured in Paris, France, during summer (1–31 July 2009) and winter (15 January to 15 February 2010) at three fixed ground sites and using two mobile laboratories and one airplane. The campaigns were part of the Megacities: Emissions, urban, regional and Global Atmospheric POLlution and climate effects, and Integrated tools for assessment and mitigation (MEGAPOLI) project. New particle formation (NPF) was observed only during summer on approximately 50 % of the campaign days, assisted by the low condensation sink (about 10.7 ± 5.9 × 10−3 s−1). NPF events inside the Paris plume were also observed at 600 m altitude onboard an aircraft simultaneously with regional events identified on the ground. Increased particle number concentrations were measured aloft also outside of the Paris plume at the same altitude, and were attributed to NPF. The Paris plume was identified, based on increased particle number and black carbon concentration, up to 200 km away from the Paris center during summer. The number concentration of particles with diameters exceeding 2.5 nm measured on the surface at the Paris center was on average 6.9 ± 8.7 × 104 and 12.1 ± 8.6 × 104 cm−3 during summer and winter, respectively, and was found to decrease exponentially with distance from Paris. However, further than 30 km from the city center, the particle number concentration at the surface was similar during both campaigns. During summer, one suburban site in the NE was not significantly affected by Paris emissions due to higher background number concentrations, while the particle number concentration at the second suburban site in the SW increased by a factor of 3 when it was downwind of Paris.