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Volume 18, issue 5 | Copyright

Special issue: Results from the ice nucleation research unit (INUIT) (ACP/AMT...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3523-3539, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-3523-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Mar 2018

Research article | 12 Mar 2018

Ice-nucleating particle concentrations unaffected by urban air pollution in Beijing, China

Jie Chen1, Zhijun Wu1, Stefanie Augustin-Bauditz2, Sarah Grawe2, Markus Hartmann2, Xiangyu Pei3, Zirui Liu4, Dongsheng Ji4, and Heike Wex2 Jie Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, 100871, Beijing, China
  • 2Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 3Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, 41296, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029, Beijing, China

Abstract. Exceedingly high levels of PM2.5 with complex chemical composition occur frequently in China. It has been speculated whether anthropogenic PM2.5 may significantly contribute to ice-nucleating particles (INP). However, few studies have focused on the ice-nucleating properties of urban particles. In this work, two ice-nucleating droplet arrays have been used to determine the atmospheric number concentration of INP (NINP) in the range from −6 to −25°C in Beijing. No correlations between NINP and either PM2.5 or black carbon mass concentrations were found, although both varied by more than a factor of 30 during the sampling period. Similarly, there were no correlations between NINP and either total particle number concentration or number concentrations for particles with diameters  > 500nm. Furthermore, there was no clear difference between day and night samples. All these results indicate that Beijing air pollution did not increase or decrease INP concentrations in the examined temperature range above values observed in nonurban areas; hence, the background INP concentrations might not be anthropogenically influenced as far as urban air pollution is concerned, at least in the examined temperature range.

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The ice nucleation activity of urban aerosols in the atmosphere of Beijing was detected in this study. Results showed that ice-nucleating particle (INP) concentrations were not influenced by the highly variable numbers of atmospheric particles, both in mass and particle number concentrations, implying that INP concentrations might not be influenced directly by anthropogenic activities, at least not down to roughly −25 °C and maybe even below.
The ice nucleation activity of urban aerosols in the atmosphere of Beijing was detected in this...
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