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Volume 16, issue 4 | Copyright

Special issue: Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS)...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 2477-2492, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 01 Mar 2016

Research article | 01 Mar 2016

Comprehensive modelling study on observed new particle formation at the SORPES station in Nanjing, China

Xin Huang1,2, Luxi Zhou3,4, Aijun Ding1,2, Ximeng Qi1,2, Wei Nie1,2, Minghuai Wang1,2, Xuguang Chi1,2, Tuukka Petäjä3, Veli-Matti Kerminen3, Pontus Roldin3, Anton Rusanen3, Markku Kulmala3, and Michael Boy3 Xin Huang et al.
  • 1Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences and School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
  • 3Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Helsinki University Centre for Environment, P.O. Box 65, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. New particle formation (NPF) has been investigated intensively during the last 2 decades because of its influence on aerosol population and the possible contribution to cloud condensation nuclei. However, intensive measurements and modelling activities on this topic in urban metropolitan areas in China with frequent high-pollution episodes are still very limited. This study provides results from a comprehensive modelling study on the occurrence of NPF events in the western part of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region, China. The comprehensive modelling system, which combines the WRF-Chem (the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry) regional chemical transport model and the MALTE-BOX sectional box model (the model to predict new aerosol formation in the lower troposphere), was shown to be capable of simulating atmospheric nucleation and subsequent growth. Here we present a detailed discussion of three typical NPF days, during which the measured air masses were notably influenced by either anthropogenic activities, biogenic emissions, or mixed ocean and continental sources. Overall, simulated NPF events were generally in good agreement with the corresponding measurements, enabling us to get further insights into NPF processes in the YRD region. Based on the simulations, we conclude that biogenic organic compounds, particularly monoterpenes, play an essential role in the initial condensational growth of newly formed clusters through their low-volatility oxidation products. Although some uncertainties remain in this modelling system, this method provides a possibility to better understand particle formation and growth processes.

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By combining a regional model and a box model, this study simulates new particle formation in Nanjing, China, when the air masses were affected by anthropogenic activities, biogenic emissions, or mixed ocean and continental sources. The simulations reveal that biogenic organic compounds play a vital role in growth of newly formed clusters. This novel combination of two models makes it possible to accomplish new particle formation simulation without direct measurements of all chemical species.
By combining a regional model and a box model, this study simulates new particle formation in...