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Cloud condensation nuclei in pristine tropical rainforest air of Amazonia: size-resolved measurements and modeling of atmospheric aerosol composition and CCN activity

Gunthe, S. S.; King, S. M.; Rose, D.; Chen, Q.; Roldin, Pontus LU ; Farmer, D. K.; Jimenez, J. L.; Artaxo, P.; Andreae, M. O. and Martin, S. T., et al. (2009) In Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 9(19). p.7551-7575
Abstract
Atmospheric aerosol particles serving as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are key elements of the hydrological cycle and climate. We have measured and characterized CCN at water vapor supersaturations in the range of S=0.10-0.82% in pristine tropical rainforest air during the AMAZE-08 campaign in central Amazonia. The effective hygroscopicity parameters describing the influence of chemical composition on the CCN activity of aerosol particles varied in the range of kappa approximate to 0.1-0.4 (0.16+/-0.06 arithmetic mean and standard deviation). The overall median value of kappa approximate to 0.15 was by a factor of two lower than the values typically observed for continental aerosols in other regions of the world. Aitken mode particles... (More)
Atmospheric aerosol particles serving as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are key elements of the hydrological cycle and climate. We have measured and characterized CCN at water vapor supersaturations in the range of S=0.10-0.82% in pristine tropical rainforest air during the AMAZE-08 campaign in central Amazonia. The effective hygroscopicity parameters describing the influence of chemical composition on the CCN activity of aerosol particles varied in the range of kappa approximate to 0.1-0.4 (0.16+/-0.06 arithmetic mean and standard deviation). The overall median value of kappa approximate to 0.15 was by a factor of two lower than the values typically observed for continental aerosols in other regions of the world. Aitken mode particles were less hygroscopic than accumulation mode particles (kappa approximate to 0.1 at D approximate to 50 nm; kappa approximate to 0.2 at D approximate to 200 nm), which is in agreement with earlier hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (H-TDMA) studies. The CCN measurement results are consistent with aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) data, showing that the organic mass fraction (f(org)) was on average as high as similar to 90% in the Aitken mode (D <= 100 nm) and decreased with increasing particle diameter in the accumulation mode (similar to 80% at D approximate to 200 nm). The kappa values exhibited a negative linear correlation with f(org) (R-2=0.81), and extrapolation yielded the following effective hygroscopicity parameters for organic and inorganic particle components: kappa(org)approximate to 0.1 which can be regarded as the effective hygroscopicity of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and kappa(inorg)approximate to 0.6 which is characteristic for ammonium sulfate and related salts. Both the size dependence and the temporal variability of effective particle hygroscopicity could be parameterized as a function of AMS-based organic and inorganic mass fractions (kappa(p)=kappa(org) x f(org)+kappa(inorg) x f(inorg)). The CCN number concentrations predicted with kappa(p) were in fair agreement with the measurement results (similar to 20% average deviation). The median CCN number concentrations at S=0.1-0.82% ranged from N-CCN,N-0.10 approximate to 35 cm(-3) to N-CCN,N-0.82 approximate to 160 cm(-3), the median concentration of aerosol particles larger than 30 nm was N-CN,N-30 approximate to 200 cm(-3), and the corresponding integral CCN efficiencies were in the range of N-CCN,N-0.10/NCN,N-30 approximate to 0.1 to N-CCN,N-0.82/NCN,N-30 approximate to 0.8. Although the number concentrations and hygroscopicity parameters were much lower in pristine rainforest air, the integral CCN efficiencies observed were similar to those in highly polluted megacity air. Moreover, model calculations of N-CCN,N-S assuming an approximate global average value of kappa approximate to 0.3 for continental aerosols led to systematic overpredictions, but the average deviations exceeded similar to 50% only at low water vapor supersaturation (0.1%) and low particle number concentrations (<= 100 cm(-3)). Model calculations assuming aconstant aerosol size distribution led to higher average deviations at all investigated levels of supersaturation: similar to 60% for the campaign average distribution and similar to 1600% for a generic remote continental size distribution. These findings confirm earlier studies suggesting that aerosol particle number and size are the major predictors for the variability of the CCN concentration in continental boundary layer air, followed by particle composition and hygroscopicity as relatively minor modulators. Depending on the required and applicable level of detail, the information and parameterizations presented in this paper should enable efficient description of the CCN properties of pristine tropical rainforest aerosols of Amazonia in detailed process models as well as in large-scale atmospheric and climate models. (Less)
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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
volume
9
issue
19
pages
7551 - 7575
publisher
Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh
external identifiers
  • wos:000270779700020
  • scopus:72149099798
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1680-7324
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English
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yes
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044e5c43-b129-4edf-ba7b-5172f5036e48 (old id 1507151)
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2009-11-23 09:51:12
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@article{044e5c43-b129-4edf-ba7b-5172f5036e48,
  abstract     = {Atmospheric aerosol particles serving as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are key elements of the hydrological cycle and climate. We have measured and characterized CCN at water vapor supersaturations in the range of S=0.10-0.82% in pristine tropical rainforest air during the AMAZE-08 campaign in central Amazonia. The effective hygroscopicity parameters describing the influence of chemical composition on the CCN activity of aerosol particles varied in the range of kappa approximate to 0.1-0.4 (0.16+/-0.06 arithmetic mean and standard deviation). The overall median value of kappa approximate to 0.15 was by a factor of two lower than the values typically observed for continental aerosols in other regions of the world. Aitken mode particles were less hygroscopic than accumulation mode particles (kappa approximate to 0.1 at D approximate to 50 nm; kappa approximate to 0.2 at D approximate to 200 nm), which is in agreement with earlier hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (H-TDMA) studies. The CCN measurement results are consistent with aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) data, showing that the organic mass fraction (f(org)) was on average as high as similar to 90% in the Aitken mode (D &lt;= 100 nm) and decreased with increasing particle diameter in the accumulation mode (similar to 80% at D approximate to 200 nm). The kappa values exhibited a negative linear correlation with f(org) (R-2=0.81), and extrapolation yielded the following effective hygroscopicity parameters for organic and inorganic particle components: kappa(org)approximate to 0.1 which can be regarded as the effective hygroscopicity of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and kappa(inorg)approximate to 0.6 which is characteristic for ammonium sulfate and related salts. Both the size dependence and the temporal variability of effective particle hygroscopicity could be parameterized as a function of AMS-based organic and inorganic mass fractions (kappa(p)=kappa(org) x f(org)+kappa(inorg) x f(inorg)). The CCN number concentrations predicted with kappa(p) were in fair agreement with the measurement results (similar to 20% average deviation). The median CCN number concentrations at S=0.1-0.82% ranged from N-CCN,N-0.10 approximate to 35 cm(-3) to N-CCN,N-0.82 approximate to 160 cm(-3), the median concentration of aerosol particles larger than 30 nm was N-CN,N-30 approximate to 200 cm(-3), and the corresponding integral CCN efficiencies were in the range of N-CCN,N-0.10/NCN,N-30 approximate to 0.1 to N-CCN,N-0.82/NCN,N-30 approximate to 0.8. Although the number concentrations and hygroscopicity parameters were much lower in pristine rainforest air, the integral CCN efficiencies observed were similar to those in highly polluted megacity air. Moreover, model calculations of N-CCN,N-S assuming an approximate global average value of kappa approximate to 0.3 for continental aerosols led to systematic overpredictions, but the average deviations exceeded similar to 50% only at low water vapor supersaturation (0.1%) and low particle number concentrations (&lt;= 100 cm(-3)). Model calculations assuming aconstant aerosol size distribution led to higher average deviations at all investigated levels of supersaturation: similar to 60% for the campaign average distribution and similar to 1600% for a generic remote continental size distribution. These findings confirm earlier studies suggesting that aerosol particle number and size are the major predictors for the variability of the CCN concentration in continental boundary layer air, followed by particle composition and hygroscopicity as relatively minor modulators. Depending on the required and applicable level of detail, the information and parameterizations presented in this paper should enable efficient description of the CCN properties of pristine tropical rainforest aerosols of Amazonia in detailed process models as well as in large-scale atmospheric and climate models.},
  author       = {Gunthe, S. S. and King, S. M. and Rose, D. and Chen, Q. and Roldin, Pontus and Farmer, D. K. and Jimenez, J. L. and Artaxo, P. and Andreae, M. O. and Martin, S. T. and Poeschi, U.},
  issn         = {1680-7324},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {19},
  pages        = {7551--7575},
  publisher    = {Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh},
  series       = {Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics},
  title        = {Cloud condensation nuclei in pristine tropical rainforest air of Amazonia: size-resolved measurements and modeling of atmospheric aerosol composition and CCN activity},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2009},
}