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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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    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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    Assessment of cloud supersaturation by size-resolved aerosol particle and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) measurements
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Krüger, M.L.; Mertes, S.; Klimach, T.; Cheng, Y.F.; Su, H.; Schneider, J.; Andreae, M.O.; Pöschl, U.; Rose, D.
    In this study we show how size-resolved measurements of aerosol particles and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) can be used to characterize the supersaturation of water vapor in a cloud. The method was developed and applied during the ACRIDICON-Zugspitze campaign (17 September to 4 October 2012) at the high-Alpine research station Schneefernerhaus (German Alps, 2650 m a.s.l.). Number size distributions of total and interstitial aerosol particles were measured with a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), and size-resolved CCN efficiency spectra were recorded with a CCN counter system operated at different supersaturation levels. During the evolution of a cloud, aerosol particles are exposed to different supersaturation levels. We outline and compare different estimates for the lower and upper bounds (Slow, Shigh) and the average value (Savg) of peak supersaturation encountered by the particles in the cloud. A major advantage of the derivation of Slow and Savg from size-resolved CCN efficiency spectra is that it does not require the specific knowledge or assumptions about aerosol hygroscopicity that are needed to derive estimates of Slow, Shigh, and Savg from aerosol size distribution data. For the investigated cloud event, we derived Slow ≈ 0.07–0.25%, Shigh ≈ 0.86–1.31% and Savg ≈ 0.42–0.68%.
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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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    Aerosol hygroscopicity parameter derived from the light scattering enhancement factor measurements in the North China Plain
    (Göttingen : Copernicus, 2014) Chen, J.; Zhao, C.S.; Ma, N.; Yan, P.
    The relative humidity (RH) dependence of aerosol light scattering is an essential parameter for accurate estimation of the direct radiative forcing induced by aerosol particles. Because of insufficient information on aerosol hygroscopicity in climate models, a more detailed parameterization of hygroscopic growth factors and resulting optical properties with respect to location, time, sources, aerosol chemistry and meteorology are urgently required. In this paper, a retrieval method to calculate the aerosol hygroscopicity parameter, κ, is proposed based on the in situ measured aerosol light scattering enhancement factor, namely f(RH), and particle number size distribution (PNSD) obtained from the HaChi (Haze in China) campaign. Measurements show that f(RH) increases sharply with increasing RH, and that the time variance of f(RH) is much greater at higher RH. A sensitivity analysis reveals that the f(RH) is more sensitive to the aerosol hygroscopicity than PNSD. f(RH) for polluted cases is distinctly higher than that for clean periods at a specific RH. The derived equivalent κ, combined with the PNSD measurements, is applied in the prediction of the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) number concentration. The predicted CCN number concentration with the derived equivalent κ agrees well with the measured ones, especially at high supersaturations. The proposed calculation algorithm of κ with the f(RH) measurements is demonstrated to be reasonable and can be widely applied.
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    Particle hygroscopicity and its link to chemical composition in the urban atmosphere of Beijing, China, during summertime
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Wu, Z.J.; Zheng, J.; Shang, D.J.; Du, Z.F.; Wu, Y.S.; Zeng, L.M.; Wiedensohler, A.; Hu, M.
    Simultaneous measurements of particle number size distribution, particle hygroscopic properties, and size-resolved chemical composition were made during the summer of 2014 in Beijing, China. During the measurement period, the mean hygroscopicity parameters (κs) of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 nm particles were respectively 0.16  ±  0.07, 0.19  ±  0.06, 0.22  ±  0.06, 0.26  ±  0.07, and 0.28  ±  0.10, showing an increasing trend with increasing particle size. Such size dependency of particle hygroscopicity was similar to that of the inorganic mass fraction in PM1. The hydrophilic mode (hygroscopic growth factor, HGF  >  1.2) was more prominent in growth factor probability density distributions and its dominance of hydrophilic mode became more pronounced with increasing particle size. When PM2.5 mass concentration was greater than 50 μg m−3, the fractions of the hydrophilic mode for 150, 250, and 350 nm particles increased towards 1 as PM2.5 mass concentration increased. This indicates that aged particles dominated during severe pollution periods in the atmosphere of Beijing. Particle hygroscopic growth can be well predicted using high-time-resolution size-resolved chemical composition derived from aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements using the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule. The organic hygroscopicity parameter (κorg) showed a positive correlation with the oxygen to carbon ratio. During the new particle formation event associated with strongly active photochemistry, the hygroscopic growth factor or κ of newly formed particles is greater than for particles with the same sizes not during new particle formation (NPF) periods. A quick transformation from external mixture to internal mixture for pre-existing particles (for example, 250 nm particles) was observed. Such transformations may modify the state of the mixture of pre-existing particles and thus modify properties such as the light absorption coefficient and cloud condensation nuclei activation.
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    Cloud condensation nuclei spectra derived from size distributions and hygroscopic properties of the aerosol in coastal south-west Portugal during ACE-2
    (Milton Park : Taylor & Francis, 2016) Dusek, Ulrike; Covert, David S.; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Neusüss, Christian; Weise, Diana; Cantrell, Will
    In this work we propose and test a method to calculate cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectra basedon aerosol number size distributions and hygroscopic growth factors. Sensitivity studies show thatthis method can be used in a wide variety of conditions except when the aerosol consist mainly oforganic compounds. One crucial step in the calculations, estimating soluble ions in an aerosol particlebased on hygroscopic growth factors, is tested in an internal hygroscopic consistency study. The resultsshow that during the second Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-2) the number concentrationof inorganic ions analyzed in impactor samples could be reproduced from measured growth factorswithin the measurement uncertainties at the measurement site in Sagres, Portugal. CCN spectra were calculated based on data from the ACE-2 field experiment at the Sagres site.The calculations overestimate measured CCN spectra on average by approximately 30%, which iscomparable to the uncertainties in measurements and calculations at supersaturations below 0.5%. Thecalculated CCN spectra were averaged over time periods when Sagres received clean air masses and airmasses influenced by aged and recent pollution. Pollution outbreaks enhance the CCN concentrationsat supersaturations near 0.2% by a factor of 3 (aged pollution) to 5 (recent pollution) compared to theclean marine background concentrations. In polluted air masses, the shape of the CCN spectra changes.The clean spectra can be approximated by a power function, whereas the polluted spectra are betterapproximated by an error function.
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    Size-resolved and bulk activation properties of aerosols in the North China Plain
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Deng, Z.Z.; Zhao, C.S.; Ma, N.; Liu, P.F.; Ran, L.; Xu, W.Y.; Chen, J.; Liang, Z.; Liang, S.; Huang, M.Y.; Ma, X.C.; Zhang, Q.; Quan, J.N.; Yan, P.; Henning, S.; Mildenberger, K.; Sommerhage, E.; Schäfer, M.; Stratmann, F.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Size-resolved and bulk activation properties of aerosols were measured at a regional/suburban site in the North China Plain (NCP), which is occasionally heavily polluted by anthropogenic aerosol particles and gases. A Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) closure study is conducted with bulk CCN number concentration (NCCN) and calculated CCN number concentration based on the aerosol number size distribution and size-resolved activation properties. The observed CCN number concentration (NCCN-obs) are higher than those observed in other locations than China, with average NCCN-obs of roughly 2000, 3000, 6000, 10 000 and 13 000 cm−3 at supersaturations of 0.056, 0.083, 0.17, 0.35 and 0.70%, respectively. An inferred critical dry diameter (Dm) is calculated based on the NCCN-obs and aerosol number size distribution assuming homogeneous chemical composition. The inferred cut-off diameters are in the ranges of 190–280, 160–260, 95–180, 65–120 and 50–100 nm at supersaturations of 0.056, 0.083, 0.17, 0.35 and 0.7%, with their mean values 230.1, 198.4, 128.4, 86.4 and 69.2 nm, respectively. Size-resolved activation measurements show that most of the 300 nm particles are activated at the investigated supersaturations, while almost no particles of 30 nm are activated even at the highest supersaturation of 0.72%. The activation ratio increases with increasing supersaturation and particle size. The slopes of the activation curves for ambient aerosols are not as steep as those observed in calibrations with ammonium sulfate suggesting that the observed aerosols is an external mixture of more hygroscopic and hydrophobic particles. The calculated CCN number concentrations (NCCN-calc) based on the size-resolved activation ratio and aerosol number size distribution correlate well with the NCCN-obs, and show an average overestimation of 19%. Sensitivity studies of the CCN closure show that the NCCN at each supersaturation is well predicted with the campaign average of size-resolved activation curves. These results indicate that the aerosol number size distribution is critical in the prediction of possible CCN. The CCN number concentration can be reliably estimated using time-averaged, size-resolved activation efficiencies without accounting for the temporal variations.
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    Changes in the production rate of secondary aerosol particles in Central Europe in view of decreasing SO2 emissions between 1996 and 2006
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2010) Hamed, A.; Birmili, W.; Joutsensaari, J.; Mikkonen, S.; Asmi, A.; Wehner, B.; Spindler, G.; Jaatinen, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Korhonen, H.; Lehtinen, K.E.J.; Laaksonen, A.
    In anthropogenically influenced atmospheres, sulphur dioxide (SO2) is the main precursor of gaseous sulphuric acid (H2SO4), which in turn is a main precursor for atmospheric particle nucleation. As a result of socio-economic changes, East Germany has seen a dramatic decrease in anthropogenic SO2 emissions between 1989 and present, as documented by routine air quality measurements in many locations. We have attempted to evaluate the influence of changing SO2 concentrations on the frequency and intensity of new particle formation (NPF) using two different data sets (1996–1997; 2003–2006) of experimental particle number size distributions (diameter range 3–750 nm) from the atmospheric research station Melpitz near Leipzig, Germany. Between the two periods SO2 concentrations decreased by 65% on average, while the frequency of NPF events dropped by 45%. Meanwhile, the average formation rate of 3 nm particles decreased by 68% on average. The trends were statistically significant and therefore suggest a connection between the availability of anthropogenic SO2 and freshly formed new particles. In contrast to the decrease in new particle formation, we found an increase in the mean growth rate of freshly nucleated particles (+22%), suggesting that particle nucleation and subsequent growth into larger sizes are delineated with respect to their precursor species. Using three basic parameters, the condensation sink for H2SO4, the SO2 concentration, and the global radiation intensity, we were able to define the characteristic range of atmospheric conditions under which particle formation events take place at the Melpitz site. While the decrease in the concentrations and formation rates of the new particles was rather evident, no similar decrease was found with respect to the generation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN; particle diameter >100 nm) as a result of atmospheric nucleation events. On the contrary, the production of CCN following nucleation events appears to have increased by tens of percents. Our aerosol dynamics model simulations suggest that such an increase can be caused by the increased particle growth rate.