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    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.
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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.
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    Overview of the synoptic and pollution situation over Europe during the EUCAARI-LONGREX field campaign
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Hamburger, T.; McMeeking, G.; Minikin, A.; Birmili, W.; Dall'Osto, M.; O'Dowd, C.; Flentje, H.; Henzing, B.; Junninen, H.; Kristensson, A.; de Leeuw, G.; Stohl, A.; Burkhart, J.F.; Coe, H.; Krejci, R.; Petzold, A.
    In May 2008 the EUCAARI-LONGREX aircraft field campaign was conducted within the EUCAARI intensive observational period. The campaign aimed at studying the distribution and evolution of air mass properties on a continental scale. Airborne aerosol and trace gas measurements were performed aboard the German DLR Falcon 20 and the British FAAM BAe-146 aircraft. This paper outlines the meteorological situation over Europe during May 2008 and the temporal and spatial evolution of predominantly anthropogenic particulate pollution inside the boundary layer and the free troposphere. Time series data of six selected ground stations are used to discuss continuous measurements besides the single flights. The observations encompass total and accumulation mode particle number concentration (0.1–0.8 μm) and black carbon mass concentration as well as several meteorological parameters. Vertical profiles of total aerosol number concentration up to 10 km are compared to vertical profiles probed during previous studies. During the first half of May 2008 an anticyclonic blocking event dominated the weather over Central Europe. It led to increased pollutant concentrations within the centre of the high pressure inside the boundary layer. Due to long-range transport the accumulated pollution was partly advected towards Western and Northern Europe. The measured aerosol number concentrations over Central Europe showed in the boundary layer high values up to 14 000 cm−3 for particles in diameter larger 10 nm and 2300 cm−3 for accumulation mode particles during the high pressure period, whereas the middle free troposphere showed rather low concentrations of particulates. Thus a strong negative gradient of aerosol concentrations between the well mixed boundary layer and the clean middle troposphere occurred.
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    Analysis of number size distributions of tropical free tropospheric aerosol particles observed at Pico Espejo (4765 m a.s.l.), Venezuela
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Schmeissner, T.; Krejci, R.; Ström, J.; Birmili, W.; Wiedensohler, A.; Hochschild, G.; Gross, J.; Hoffmann, P.; Calderon, S.
    The first long-term measurements of aerosol number and size distributions in South-American tropical free troposphere (FT) were performed from March 2007 until March 2009. The measurements took place at the high altitude Atmospheric Research Station Alexander von Humboldt. The station is located on top of the Sierra Nevada mountain ridge at 4765 m a.s.l. nearby the city of Mérida, Venezuela. Aerosol size distribution and number concentration data was obtained with a custom-built Differential Mobility Particle Sizer (DMPS) system and a Condensational Particle Counter (CPC). The analysis of the annual and diurnal variability of the tropical FT aerosol focused mainly on possible links to the atmospheric general circulation in the tropics. Considerable annual and diurnal cycles of the particle number concentration were observed. Highest total particle number concentrations were measured during the dry season (January–March, 519 ± 613 cm−3), lowest during the wet season (July–September, 318 ± 194 cm−3). The more humid FT (relative humidity (RH) range 50–95 %) contained generally higher aerosol particle number concentrations (573 ± 768 cm−3 during dry season, 320 ± 195 cm−3 during wet season) than the dry FT (RH < 50 %, 454 ± 332 cm−3 during dry season, 275 ± 172 cm−3 during wet season), indicating the importance of convection for aerosol distributions in the tropical FT. The diurnal cycle in the variability of the particle number concentration was mainly driven by local orography.
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    Atmospheric black carbon and warming effects influenced by the source and absorption enhancement in central Europe
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Nordmann, S.; Cheng, Y.F.; Carmichael, G.R.; Yu, M.; van der Gon, H.A.C.Denier; Zhang, Q.; Saide, P.E.; Pöschl, U.; Su, H.; Birmili, W.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Particles containing black carbon (BC), a strong absorbing substance, exert a rather uncertain direct and indirect radiative forcing in the atmosphere. To investigate the mass concentration and absorption properties of BC particles over central Europe, the model WRF-Chem was used at a resolution of 12 km in conjunction with a high-resolution BC emission inventory (EUCAARI 42-Pan-European Carbonaceous Aerosol Inventory; 1/8° × 1/16°). The model simulation was evaluated using measurements of equivalent soot carbon, absorption coefficients and particle number concentrations at seven sites within the German Ultrafine Aerosol Network, PM mass concentrations from the dense measurement network of the German Federal Environmental Agency at 392 monitoring stations, and aerosol optical depth from MODIS and AERONET. A distinct time period (25 March to 10 April 2009) was chosen, during which the clean marine air mass prevailed in the first week and afterwards the polluted continental air mass mainly from the southeast dominated with elevated daily average BC concentration of up to 4 μ g m−3. The simulated PM mass concentration, aerosol number concentration and optical depth were in good agreement with the observations, while the modelled BC mass concentrations were found to be a factor of 2 lower than the observations. Together with back trajectories, detailed model bias analyses suggested that the current BC emission in countries to the east and south of Germany might be underestimated by a factor of 5, at least for the simulation period. Running the model with upscaled BC emissions in these regions led to a smaller model bias and a better correlation between model and measurement. In contrast, the particle absorption coefficient was positively biased by about 20% even when the BC mass concentration was underestimated by around 50%. This indicates that the internal mixture treatment of BC in the WRF-Chem optical calculation is unrealistic in our case, which overamplifies the light absorption by BC-containing particles. By adjusting the modelled mass absorption cross-section towards the measured values, the simulation of particle light absorption of BC was improved as well. Finally, the positive direct radiative forcing of BC particles at the top of the atmosphere was estimated to be in the range of 0 to +4 W m−2 over Germany for the model run with improved BC mass concentration and adjusted BC light absorption cross-section. This adjustment lowered the positive forcing of BC by up to 70%, compared with the internal mixing treatment of BC in the model simulation.
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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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    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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    Diurnal variations of ambient particulate wood burning emissions and their contribution to the concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Seiffen, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Iinuma, Y.; Müller, K.; Birmili, W.; Weinhold, K.; Brüggemann, E.; Gnauk, T.; Hausmann, A.; Löschau, G.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Residential wood burning is becoming an increasingly important cause of air quality problems since it has become a popular source of alternative energy to fossil fuel. In order to characterize the contribution of residential wood burning to local particle pollution, a field campaign was organized at the village of Seiffen (Saxony, Germany). During this campaign, an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) was deployed in parallel to a PM1 high volume filter sampler. The AMS mass spectra were analyzed using Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) to obtain detailed information about the organic aerosol (OA). Biomass-burning organic aerosol (BBOA), Hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA), and Oxygenated Organic Aerosol (OOA) were identified and represented 20%, 17% and 62% of total OA, respectively. Additionally, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) were measured by the AMS with an average concentration of 10 ng m−3 and short term events of extremely high PAH concentration (up to 500 ng m−3) compared to the mean PAH value were observed during the whole measurement period. A comparison with the results from PM1 filter samples showed that the BBOA factor and the AMS PAH are good indicators of the total concentration of the different monosaccharide anhydrides and PAH measured on the filter samples. Based on its low correlation with CO and the low car traffic, the HOA factor was considered to be related to residential heating using liquid fuel. An influence of the time of the week (week vs. weekend) on the diurnal profiles of the different OA components was observed. The weekdays were characterized by two maxima; a first one early in the morning and a stronger one in the evening. During the weekend days, the different OA components principally reached only one maximum in the afternoon. Finally, the PAH emitted directly from residential wood combustion was estimated to represent 1.5% of the total mass of the BBOA factor and around 62% of the total PAH concentration measured at Seiffen. This result highlights the important contribution of residential wood combustion to air quality and PAH emissions at the sampling place, which might have a significant impact on human health. Moreover, it also emphasizes the need for a better time resolution of the chemical characterization of toxic particulate compounds in order to provide more information on variations of the different sources through the days as well as to better estimate the real human exposure.
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    On the formation of sulphuric acid – Amine clusters in varying atmospheric conditions and its influence on atmospheric new particle formation
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Paasonen, P.; Olenius, T.; Kupiainen, O.; Kurtén, T.; Petäjä, T.; Birmili, W.; Hamed, A.; Hu, M.; Huey, L.G.; Plass-Duelmer, C.; Smith, J.N.; Wiedensohler, A.; Loukonen, V.; McGrath, M.J.; Ortega, I.K.; Laaksonen, A.; Vehkamäki, H.; Kerminen, V.-M.; Kulmala, M.
    Sulphuric acid is a key component in atmospheric new particle formation. However, sulphuric acid alone does not form stable enough clusters to initiate particle formation in atmospheric conditions. Strong bases, such as amines, have been suggested to stabilize sulphuric acid clusters and thus participate in particle formation. We modelled the formation rate of clusters with two sulphuric acid and two amine molecules (JA2B2) at varying atmospherically relevant conditions with respect to concentrations of sulphuric acid ([H2SO4]), dimethylamine ([DMA]) and trimethylamine ([TMA]), temperature and relative humidity (RH). We also tested how the model results change if we assume that the clusters with two sulphuric acid and two amine molecules would act as seeds for heterogeneous nucleation of organic vapours (other than amines) with higher atmospheric concentrations than sulphuric acid. The modelled formation rates JA2B2 were functions of sulphuric acid concentration with close to quadratic dependence, which is in good agreement with atmospheric observations of the connection between the particle formation rate and sulphuric acid concentration. The coefficients KA2B2 connecting the cluster formation rate and sulphuric acid concentrations as JA2B2=KA2B2[H2SO4]2 turned out to depend also on amine concentrations, temperature and relative humidity. We compared the modelled coefficients KA2B2 with the corresponding coefficients calculated from the atmospheric observations (Kobs) from environments with varying temperatures and levels of anthropogenic influence. By taking into account the modelled behaviour of JA2B2 as a function of [H2SO4], temperature and RH, the atmospheric particle formation rate was reproduced more closely than with the traditional semi-empirical formulae based on sulphuric acid concentration only. The formation rates of clusters with two sulphuric acid and two amine molecules with different amine compositions (DMA or TMA or one of both) had different responses to varying meteorological conditions and concentrations of vapours participating in particle formation. The observed inverse proportionality of the coefficient Kobs with RH and temperature agreed best with the modelled coefficient KA2B2 related to formation of a cluster with two H2SO4 and one or two TMA molecules, assuming that these clusters can grow in collisions with abundant organic vapour molecules. In case this assumption is valid, our results suggest that the formation rate of clusters with at least two of both sulphuric acid and amine molecules might be the rate-limiting step for atmospheric particle formation. More generally, our analysis elucidates the sensitivity of the atmospheric particle formation rate to meteorological variables and concentrations of vapours participating in particle formation (also other than H2SO4).