Advanced

Warming-induced increase in aerosol number concentration likely to moderate climate change

Paasonen, Pauli; Asmi, Ari; Petaja, Tuukka; Kajos, Maija K.; Aijala, Mikko; Junninen, Heikki; Holst, Thomas LU ; Abbatt, Jonathan P. D.; Arneth, Almut and Birmili, Wolfram, et al. (2013) In Nature Geoscience 6(6). p.438-442
Abstract
Atmospheric aerosol particles influence the climate system directly by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, and indirectly by acting as cloud condensation nuclei(1-4). Apart from black carbon aerosol, aerosols cause a negative radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and substantially mitigate the warming caused by greenhouse gases(1). In the future, tightening of controls on anthropogenic aerosol and precursor vapour emissions to achieve higher air quality may weaken this beneficial effect(5-)7. Natural aerosols, too, might affect future warming(2,3,8,9). Here we analyse long-term observations of concentrations and compositions of aerosol particles and their biogenic precursor vapours in continental mid-and high-latitude... (More)
Atmospheric aerosol particles influence the climate system directly by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, and indirectly by acting as cloud condensation nuclei(1-4). Apart from black carbon aerosol, aerosols cause a negative radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and substantially mitigate the warming caused by greenhouse gases(1). In the future, tightening of controls on anthropogenic aerosol and precursor vapour emissions to achieve higher air quality may weaken this beneficial effect(5-)7. Natural aerosols, too, might affect future warming(2,3,8,9). Here we analyse long-term observations of concentrations and compositions of aerosol particles and their biogenic precursor vapours in continental mid-and high-latitude environments. We use measurements of particle number size distribution together with boundary layer heights derived from reanalysis data to show that the boundary layer burden of cloud condensation nuclei increases exponentially with temperature. Our results confirm a negative feedback mechanism between the continental biosphere, aerosols and climate: aerosol cooling effects are strengthened by rising biogenic organic vapour emissions in response to warming, which in turn enhance condensation on particles and their growth to the size of cloud condensation nuclei. This natural growth mechanism produces roughly 50% of particles at the size of cloud condensation nuclei across Europe. We conclude that biosphere-atmosphere interactions are crucial for aerosol climate effects and can significantly influence the effects of anthropogenic aerosol emission controls, both on climate and air quality. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
, et al. (More)
(Less)
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature Geoscience
volume
6
issue
6
pages
438 - 442
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000319655200013
  • scopus:84878680174
ISSN
1752-0908
DOI
10.1038/NGEO1800
project
MERGE
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
068a443d-73f8-4a92-9264-7c55434f9873 (old id 3931016)
date added to LUP
2013-07-16 09:31:23
date last changed
2019-08-14 01:13:37
@article{068a443d-73f8-4a92-9264-7c55434f9873,
  abstract     = {Atmospheric aerosol particles influence the climate system directly by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, and indirectly by acting as cloud condensation nuclei(1-4). Apart from black carbon aerosol, aerosols cause a negative radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and substantially mitigate the warming caused by greenhouse gases(1). In the future, tightening of controls on anthropogenic aerosol and precursor vapour emissions to achieve higher air quality may weaken this beneficial effect(5-)7. Natural aerosols, too, might affect future warming(2,3,8,9). Here we analyse long-term observations of concentrations and compositions of aerosol particles and their biogenic precursor vapours in continental mid-and high-latitude environments. We use measurements of particle number size distribution together with boundary layer heights derived from reanalysis data to show that the boundary layer burden of cloud condensation nuclei increases exponentially with temperature. Our results confirm a negative feedback mechanism between the continental biosphere, aerosols and climate: aerosol cooling effects are strengthened by rising biogenic organic vapour emissions in response to warming, which in turn enhance condensation on particles and their growth to the size of cloud condensation nuclei. This natural growth mechanism produces roughly 50% of particles at the size of cloud condensation nuclei across Europe. We conclude that biosphere-atmosphere interactions are crucial for aerosol climate effects and can significantly influence the effects of anthropogenic aerosol emission controls, both on climate and air quality.},
  author       = {Paasonen, Pauli and Asmi, Ari and Petaja, Tuukka and Kajos, Maija K. and Aijala, Mikko and Junninen, Heikki and Holst, Thomas and Abbatt, Jonathan P. D. and Arneth, Almut and Birmili, Wolfram and van der Gon, Hugo Denier and Hamed, Amar and Hoffer, Andras and Laakso, Lauri and Laaksonen, Ari and Leaitch, W. Richard and Plass-Duelmer, Christian and Pryor, Sara C. and Raisanen, Petri and Swietlicki, Erik and Wiedensohler, Alfred and Worsnop, Douglas R. and Kerminen, Veli-Matti and Kulmala, Markku},
  issn         = {1752-0908},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {438--442},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature Geoscience},
  title        = {Warming-induced increase in aerosol number concentration likely to moderate climate change},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/NGEO1800},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2013},
}