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Volume 15, issue 16 | Copyright

Special issue: BACCHUS – Impact of Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions...

Special issue: The Pan European Gas-Aerosols Climate Interaction Study...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9203-9215, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-9203-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 20 Aug 2015

Research article | 20 Aug 2015

Atmospheric new particle formation as a source of CCN in the eastern Mediterranean marine boundary layer

N. Kalivitis1,2, V.-M. Kerminen2, G. Kouvarakis1, I. Stavroulas1, A. Bougiatioti3,8, A. Nenes3,5,6, H. E. Manninen2,4, T. Petäjä2, M. Kulmala2, and N. Mihalopoulos1,7,9 N. Kalivitis et al.
  • 1Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 71003, Heraklion, Greece
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
  • 4Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, 50090, Tartu, Estonia
  • 5School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA
  • 6ICE-HT, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas, 26504, Patras, Greece
  • 7Institute for Environmental Research & Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens (NOA), I. Metaxa & Vas. Pavlou, 15236 Palea Penteli, Greece
  • 8National Technical University of Athens, Zografou Campus, 15780, Athens, Greece
  • 9Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia 2121, Cyprus

Abstract. While cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production associated with atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is thought to be frequent throughout the continental boundary layers, few studies on this phenomenon in marine air exist. Here, based on simultaneous measurement of particle number size distributions, CCN properties and aerosol chemical composition, we present the first direct evidence on CCN production resulting from NPF in the eastern Mediterranean atmosphere. We show that condensation of both gaseous sulfuric acid and organic compounds from multiple sources leads to the rapid growth of nucleated particles to CCN sizes in this environment during the summertime. Sub-100 nm particles were found to be substantially less hygroscopic than larger particles during the period with active NPF and growth (the value of κ was lower by 0.2–0.4 for 60 nm particles compared with 120 nm particles), probably due to enrichment of organic material in the sub-100 nm size range. The aerosol hygroscopicity tended to be at minimum just before the noon and at maximum in the afternoon, which was very likely due to the higher sulfate-to-organic ratios and higher degree of oxidation of the organic material during the afternoon. Simultaneous with the formation of new particles during daytime, particles formed during the previous day or even earlier were growing into the size range relevant to cloud droplet activation, and the particles formed in the atmosphere were possibly mixed with long-range-transported particles.

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Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production associated with atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is presented, and this is the first direct evidence of CCN production resulting from NPF in the eastern Mediterranean atmosphere. We show that condensation of both gaseous sulfuric acid and organic compounds from multiple sources leads to the rapid growth of nucleated particles. Sub-100nm particles were found to be substantially less hygroscopic than larger particles during the active NPF period.
Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production associated with atmospheric new particle formation...
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