Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7663-7679, 2016
http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/7663/2016/
doi:10.5194/acp-16-7663-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
23 Jun 2016
Growth of nucleation mode particles in the summertime Arctic: a case study
Megan D. Willis1, Julia Burkart1, Jennie L. Thomas2, Franziska Köllner3, Johannes Schneider3, Heiko Bozem4, Peter M. Hoor4, Amir A. Aliabadi5,a, Hannes Schulz6, Andreas B. Herber6, W. Richard Leaitch5, and Jonathan P. D. Abbatt1 1University of Toronto, Department of Chemistry, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris, France
3Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Particle Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany
4Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Mainz, Germany
5Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
6Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven, Germany
anow at: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, Cambridge, USA
Abstract. The summertime Arctic lower troposphere is a relatively pristine background aerosol environment dominated by nucleation and Aitken mode particles. Understanding the mechanisms that control the formation and growth of aerosol is crucial for our ability to predict cloud properties and therefore radiative balance and climate. We present an analysis of an aerosol growth event observed in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during summer as part of the NETCARE project. Under stable and clean atmospheric conditions, with low inversion heights, carbon monoxide less than 80 ppbv, and black carbon less than 5 ng m−3, we observe growth of small particles,  <  20 nm in diameter, into sizes above 50 nm. Aerosol growth was correlated with the presence of organic species, trimethylamine, and methanesulfonic acid (MSA) in particles ∼ 80 nm and larger, where the organics are similar to those previously observed in marine settings. MSA-to-sulfate ratios as high as 0.15 were observed during aerosol growth, suggesting an important marine influence. The organic-rich aerosol contributes significantly to particles active as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN, supersaturation  =  0.6 %), which are elevated in concentration during aerosol growth above background levels of ∼ 100 to ∼ 220 cm−3. Results from this case study highlight the potential importance of secondary organic aerosol formation and its role in growing nucleation mode aerosol into CCN-active sizes in this remote marine environment.

Citation: Willis, M. D., Burkart, J., Thomas, J. L., Köllner, F., Schneider, J., Bozem, H., Hoor, P. M., Aliabadi, A. A., Schulz, H., Herber, A. B., Leaitch, W. R., and Abbatt, J. P. D.: Growth of nucleation mode particles in the summertime Arctic: a case study, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7663-7679, doi:10.5194/acp-16-7663-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
We present a case study focused on an aerosol growth event observed in the Canadian High Arctic during summer. Using measurements of aerosol chemical and physical properties we find evidence for aerosol growth into cloud condensation nuclei-active sizes, through marine-influenced secondary organic aerosol formation. Understanding the mechanisms that control the formation and growth of aerosol is crucial for our ability to predict cloud properties, and therefore radiative balance and climate.
We present a case study focused on an aerosol growth event observed in the Canadian High Arctic...
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