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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Romero-Alvarez, Johana; Lupaşcu, Aurelia; Lowe, Douglas; Badia, Alba; Acher-Nicholls, Scott; Dorling, Steve R.; Reeves, Claire E.; Butler, Tim;
    Project: EC | ASIBIA (616938)

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) concentrations depend on a combination of hemispheric, regional, and local-scale processes. Estimates of how much O3 is produced locally vs. transported from further afield are essential in air quality management and regulatory policies. Here, a tagged-ozone mechanism within the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used to quantify the contributions to surface O3 in the UK from anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from inside and outside the UK during May–August 2015. The contribution of the different source regions to three regulatory O3 metrics is also examined. It is shown that model simulations predict the concentration and spatial distribution of surface O3 with a domain-wide mean bias of −3.7 ppbv. Anthropogenic NOx emissions from the UK and Europe account for 13 % and 16 %, respectively, of the monthly mean surface O3 in the UK, as the majority (71 %) of O3 originates from the hemispheric background. Hemispheric O3 contributes the most to concentrations in the north and the west of the UK with peaks in May, whereas European and UK contributions are most significant in the east, south-east, and London, i.e. the UK's most populated areas, intensifying towards June and July. Moreover, O3 from European sources is generally transported to the UK rather than produced in situ. It is demonstrated that more stringent emission controls over continental Europe, particularly in western Europe, would be necessary to improve the health-related metric MDA8 O3 above 50 and 60 ppbv. Emission controls over larger areas, such as the Northern Hemisphere, are instead required to lessen the impacts on ecosystems as quantified by the AOT40 metric.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Appel, Oliver; Köllner, Franziska; Dragoneas, Antonis; Hünig, Andreas; Molleker, Sergej; Schlager, Hans; Mahnke, Christoph; Weigel, Ralf; Port, Max; Schulz, Christiane; +4 more
    Project: EC | STRATOCLIM (603557), EC | EXCATRO (321040)

    Aircraft-borne in situ measurements of the chemical aerosol composition were conducted in the Asian tropopause aerosol layer (ATAL) over the Indian subcontinent in the summer of 2017, covering particle sizes below ∼3 µm. We have implemented a recently developed aerosol mass spectrometer, which adopts the laser desorption technique as well as the thermal desorption method for quantitative bulk information (i.e., a modified Aerodyne AMS), aboard the high-altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysica. The instrument was deployed in July and August 2017 during the StratoClim EU campaign (Stratospheric and upper tropospheric processes for better Climate predictions) over Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and the Bay of Bengal, covering altitudes up to 20 kma.s.l. For particles with diameters between 10 nm and ∼3 µm, the vertical profiles of aerosol number densities from the eight research flights show significant enhancements in the altitude range of the ATAL. We observed enhancements in the mass concentrations of particulate nitrate, ammonium, and organics in a similar altitude range between approximately 13 and 18 km (corresponding to 360 and 410 K potential temperature). By means of the two aerosol mass spectrometry techniques, we show that the particles in the ATAL mainly consist of ammonium nitrate (AN) and organics. The single-particle analysis from laser desorption and ionization mass spectrometry revealed that a significant particle fraction (up to 70 % of all analyzed particles by number) within the ATAL results from the conversion of inorganic and organic gas-phase precursors, rather than from the uplift of primary particles from below. This can be inferred from the fact that the majority of the particles encountered in the ATAL consisted solely of secondary substances, namely an internal mixture of nitrate, ammonium, sulfate, and organic matter. These particles are externally mixed with particles containing primary components as well. The single-particle analysis suggests that the organic matter within the ATAL and in the lower stratosphere (even above 420 K) can partly be identified as organosulfates (OS), in particular glycolic acid sulfate, which are known as components indicative for secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. Additionally, the secondary particles are smaller in size compared to those containing primary components (mainly potassium, metals, and elemental carbon). The analysis of particulate organics with the thermal desorption method shows that the degree of oxidation for particles observed in the ATAL is consistent with expectations about secondary organics that were subject to photochemical processing and aging. We found that organic aerosol was less oxidized in lower regions of the ATAL (<380 K) compared to higher altitudes (here 390–420 K). These results suggest that particles formed in the lower ATAL are uplifted by prevailing diabatic heating processes and thereby subject to extensive oxidative aging. Thus, our observations are consistent with the concept of precursor gases being emitted from regional ground sources, subjected to rapid convective uplift, and followed by secondary particle formation and growth in the upper troposphere within the confinement of the Asian monsoon anticyclone (AMA). As a consequence, the chemical composition of these particles largely differs from the aerosol in the lower stratospheric background and the Junge layer.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Leinonen, Ville; Kokkola, Harri; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Mielonen, Tero; Kühn, Thomas; Nieminen, Tuomo; Heikkinen, Simo; Miinalainen, Tuuli; Bergman, Tommi; Carslaw, Ken; +26 more
    Project: EC | ACTRIS (262254)

    Despite a large number of studies, out of all drivers of radiative forcing, the effect of aerosols has the largest uncertainty in global climate model radiative forcing estimates. There have been studies of aerosol optical properties in climate models, but the effects of particle number size distribution need a more thorough inspection. We investigated the trends and seasonality of particle number concentrations in nucleation, Aitken, and accumulation modes at 21 measurement sites in Europe and the Arctic. For 13 of those sites, with longer measurement time series, we compared the field observations with the results from five climate models, namely EC-Earth3, ECHAM-M7, ECHAM-SALSA, NorESM1.2, and UKESM1. This is the first extensive comparison of detailed aerosol size distribution trends between in situ observations from Europe and five earth system models (ESMs). We found that the trends of particle number concentrations were mostly consistent and decreasing in both measurements and models. However, for many sites, climate models showed weaker decreasing trends than the measurements. Seasonal variability in measured number concentrations, quantified by the ratio between maximum and minimum monthly number concentration, was typically stronger at northern measurement sites compared to other locations. Models had large differences in their seasonal representation, and they can be roughly divided into two categories: for EC-Earth and NorESM, the seasonal cycle was relatively similar for all sites, and for other models the pattern of seasonality varied between northern and southern sites. In addition, the variability in concentrations across sites varied between models, some having relatively similar concentrations for all sites, whereas others showed clear differences in concentrations between remote and urban sites. To conclude, although all of the model simulations had identical input data to describe anthropogenic mass emissions, trends in differently sized particles vary among the models due to assumptions in emission sizes and differences in how models treat size-dependent aerosol processes. The inter-model variability was largest in the accumulation mode, i.e. sizes which have implications for aerosol–cloud interactions. Our analysis also indicates that between models there is a large variation in efficiency of long-range transportation of aerosols to remote locations. The differences in model results are most likely due to the more complex effect of different processes instead of one specific feature (e.g. the representation of aerosol or emission size distributions). Hence, a more detailed characterization of microphysical processes and deposition processes affecting the long-range transport is needed to understand the model variability.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Levelt, Pieternel F.; Stein Zweers, Deborah C.; Aben, Ilse; Bauwens, Maite; Borsdorff, Tobias; Smedt, Isabelle; Eskes, Henk J.; Lerot, Christophe; Loyola, Diego G.; Romahn, Fabian; +5 more
    Project: EC | QA4ECV (607405)

    The aim of this paper is to highlight how TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) trace gas data can best be used and interpreted to understand event-based impacts on air quality from regional to city scales around the globe. For this study, we present the observed changes in the atmospheric column amounts of five trace gases (NO2, SO2, CO, HCHO, and CHOCHO) detected by the Sentinel-5P TROPOMI instrument and driven by reductions in anthropogenic emissions due to COVID-19 lockdown measures in 2020. We report clear COVID-19-related decreases in TROPOMI NO2 column amounts on all continents. For megacities, reductions in column amounts of tropospheric NO2 range between 14 % and 63 %. For China and India, supported by NO2 observations, where the primary source of anthropogenic SO2 is coal-fired power generation, we were able to detect sector-specific emission changes using the SO2 data. For HCHO and CHOCHO, we consistently observe anthropogenic changes in 2-week-averaged column amounts over China and India during the early phases of the lockdown periods. That these variations over such a short timescale are detectable from space is due to the high resolution and improved sensitivity of the TROPOMI instrument. For CO, we observe a small reduction over China, which is in concert with the other trace gas reductions observed during lockdown; however, large interannual differences prevent firm conclusions from being drawn. The joint analysis of COVID-19-lockdown-driven reductions in satellite-observed trace gas column amounts using the latest operational and scientific retrieval techniques for five species concomitantly is unprecedented. However, the meteorologically and seasonally driven variability of the five trace gases does not allow for drawing fully quantitative conclusions on the reduction in anthropogenic emissions based on TROPOMI observations alone. We anticipate that in future the combined use of inverse modeling techniques with the high spatial resolution data from S5P/TROPOMI for all observed trace gases presented here will yield a significantly improved sector-specific, space-based analysis of the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures as compared to other existing satellite observations. Such analyses will further enhance the scientific impact and societal relevance of the TROPOMI mission.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Tatzelt, Christian; Henning, Silvia; Welti, André; Baccarini, Andrea; Hartmann, Markus; Gysel-Beer, Martin; Pinxteren, Manuela; Modini, Robin L.; Schmale, Julia; Stratmann, Frank;
    Project: EC | BACCHUS (603445)

    Aerosol particles acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice-nucleating particles (INPs) play a major role in the formation and glaciation of clouds. Thereby they exert a strong impact on the radiation budget of the Earth. Data on abundance and properties of both types of particles are sparse, especially for remote areas of the world, such as the Southern Ocean (SO). In this work, we present unique results from ship-borne aerosol-particle-related in situ measurements and filter sampling in the SO region, carried out during the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) in the austral summer of 2016–2017. An overview of CCN and INP concentrations over the Southern Ocean is provided and, using additional quantities, insights regarding possible CCN and INP sources and origins are presented. CCN number concentrations spanned 2 orders of magnitude, e.g. for a supersaturation of 0.3 % values ranged roughly from 3 to 590 cm−3. CCN showed variable contributions of organic and inorganic material (inter-quartile range of hygroscopicity parameter κ from 0.2 to 0.9). No distinct size dependence of κ was apparent, indicating homogeneous composition across sizes (critical dry diameter on average between 30 and 110 nm). The contribution of sea spray aerosol (SSA) to the CCN number concentration was on average small. Ambient INP number concentrations were measured in the temperature range from −5 to −27 ∘C using an immersion freezing method. Concentrations spanned up to 3 orders of magnitude, e.g. at −16 ∘C from 0.2 to 100 m−3. Elevated values (above 10 m−3 at −16 ∘C) were measured when the research vessel was in the vicinity of land (excluding Antarctica), with lower and more constant concentrations when at sea. This, along with results of backward-trajectory analyses, hints towards terrestrial and/or coastal INP sources being dominant close to ice-free (non-Antarctic) land. In pristine marine areas INPs may originate from both oceanic sources and/or long-range transport. Sampled aerosol particles (PM10) were analysed for sodium and methanesulfonic acid (MSA). Resulting mass concentrations were used as tracers for primary marine and secondary aerosol particles, respectively. Sodium, with an average mass concentration around 2.8 µg m−3, was found to dominate the sampled, identified particle mass. MSA was highly variable over the SO, with mass concentrations up to 0.5 µg m−3 near the sea ice edge. A correlation analysis yielded strong correlations between sodium mass concentration and particle number concentration in the coarse mode, unsurprisingly indicating a significant contribution of SSA to that mode. CCN number concentration was highly correlated with the number concentration of Aitken and accumulation mode particles. This, together with a lack of correlation between sodium mass and Aitken and accumulation mode number concentrations, underlines the important contribution of non-SSA, probably secondarily formed particles, to the CCN population. INP number concentrations did not significantly correlate with any other measured aerosol physico-chemical parameter.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Luo, Yuanyuan; Garmash, Olga; Li, Haiyan; Graeffe, Frans; Praplan, Arnaud P.; Liikanen, Anssi; Zhang, Yanjun; Meder, Melissa; Peräkylä, Otso; Peñuelas, Josep; +2 more
    Project: EC | IMBALANCE-P (610028)

    Diterpenes (C20H32) are biogenically emitted volatile compounds that only recently have been observed in ambient air. They are expected to be highly reactive, and their oxidation is likely to form condensable vapors. However, until now, no studies have investigated gas-phase diterpene oxidation. In this paper, we explored the ozonolysis of a diterpene, ent-kaurene, in a simulation chamber. Using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, we characterized diterpene oxidation products for the first time, and we identified several products with varying oxidation levels, including highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOM), monomers, and dimers. The most abundant monomers measured using a nitrate chemical ionization mass spectrometer were C19H28O8 and C20H30O5, and the most abundant dimers were C38H60O6 and C39H62O6. The exact molar yield of HOM from kaurene ozonolysis was hard to quantify due to uncertainties in both the kaurene and HOM concentrations, but our best estimate was a few percent, which is similar to values reported earlier for many monoterpenes. We also monitored the decrease in the gas-phase oxidation products in response to an increased condensation sink in the chamber to deduce their affinity to condense. The oxygen content was a critical parameter affecting the volatility of products, with four to five O atoms needed for the main monomeric species to condense onto 80 nm particles. Finally, we report on the observed fragmentation and clustering patterns of kaurene in a Vocus proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Our findings highlight similarities and differences between diterpenes and smaller terpenes during their atmospheric oxidation, but more studies on different diterpenes are needed for a broader view of their role in atmospheric chemistry.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Li, Zijun; Buchholz, Angela; Barreira, Luis M. F.; Ylisirniö, Arttu; Hao, Liqing; Pullinen, Iida; Schobesberger, Siegfried; Virtanen, Annele;
    Project: EC | QAPPA (335478)

    Many recent secondary organic aerosol (SOA) studies mainly focus on biogenic SOA particles formed under low-NOx conditions and thus are applicable to pristine environments with minor anthropogenic influence. Although interactions between biogenic volatile organic compounds and NOx are important in, for instance, suburban areas, there is still a lack of knowledge about volatility and processes controlling the evaporation of biogenic SOA particles formed in the presence of high concentrations of NOx. Here we provide detailed insights into the isothermal evaporation of α-pinene SOA particles that were formed under low-NOx and high-NOx conditions to investigate the evaporation process and the evolution of particle composition during the evaporation in more detail. We coupled Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols-Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (FIGAERO-CIMS) measurements of the molecular composition and volatility of the particle phase with isothermal evaporation experiments conducted under a range of relative humidity (RH) conditions from dry to 80 % RH. Very similar changes were observed in particle volatility at any set RH during isothermal evaporation for the α-pinene SOA particles formed under low-NOx and high-NOx conditions. However, there were distinct differences in the initial composition of the two SOA types, possibly due to the influence of NOx on the RO2 chemistry during SOA formation. Such compositional differences consequently impacted the primary type of aqueous-phase processes in each type of SOA particles in the presence of particulate water.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Deroubaix, Adrien; Menut, Laurent; Flamant, Cyrille; Knippertz, Peter; Fink, Andreas H.; Batenburg, Anneke; Brito, Joel; Denjean, Cyrielle; Dione, Cheikh; Dupuy, Régis; +7 more
    Project: EC | DACCIWA (603502)

    During the West African summer monsoon, pollutants emitted in urbanized coastal areas modify cloud cover and precipitation patterns. The Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA) field campaign provided numerous aircraft-based and ground-based observations, which are used here to evaluate two experiments made with the coupled WRF–CHIMERE model, integrating both the direct and indirect aerosol effect on meteorology. During one well-documented week (1–7 July 2016), the impacts of anthropogenic aerosols on the diurnal cycle of low-level clouds and precipitation are analyzed in detail using high and moderate intensity of anthropogenic emissions in the experiments. Over the continent and close to major anthropogenic emission sources, the breakup time of low-level clouds is delayed by 1 hour, and the daily precipitation rate decreased by 7.5 % with the enhanced anthropogenic emission experiment (with high aerosol load). Despite the small modifications on daily average of low-level cloud cover (+2.6 %) with high aerosol load compared to moderate, there is an increase by more than 20 % from 14:00 to 22:00 UTC on hourly average. Moreover, modifications of the modeled low-level cloud and precipitation rate occur far from the major anthropogenic emission sources, to the south over the ocean and to the north up to 11∘ N. The present study adds evidence to recent findings that enhanced pollution levels in West Africa may reduce precipitation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Gong, Xianda; Radenz, Martin; Wex, Heike; Seifert, Patric; Ataei, Farnoush; Henning, Silvia; Baars, Holger; Barja, Boris; Ansmann, Albert; Stratmann, Frank;
    Project: EC | BACCHUS (603445)

    The sources and abundance of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) that initiate cloud ice formation remain understudied, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, we present INP measurement taken close to Punta Arenas, Chile, at the southernmost tip of South America from May 2019 to March 2020, during the Dynamics, Aerosol, Clouds, and Precipitation in the Pristine Environment of the Southern Ocean (DACAPO-PESO) campaign. The highest ice nucleation temperature was observed at -3 °C, and from this temperature down to ~ -10 °C, a sharp increase of INP number concentration (NINP) was observed. Roughly 90 % and 80 % of INPs are proteinaceous-based biogenic particles at > -10 and -15 °C, respectively. NINP at Punta Arenas is much higher than that in the Southern Ocean, but comparable with agricultural area in Argentina and forestry environment in the US. Ice active surface site density (ns) is much higher than that for marine aerosol in the Southern Ocean, but comparable to English fertile soil dust. Parameterization based on particle number concentration in the size range larger than 500 nm (N>500nm) from the global average (DeMott et al., 2010) overestimate the measured INP, but the parameterization representing biological particles from a forestry environment (Tobo et al., 2013) yields NINP comparable to this study. No clear seasonal variation of NINP was observed. High precipitation is one of the most important meteorological parameters to enhance the NINP both in cold and warm seasons. A comparison of data from in-situ and lidar measurements showed good agreement for concentrations of large aerosol particles (> 500 nm) when assuming continental conditions for retrieval of the lidar data, suggesting that these particles were well mixed within the planetary boundary layer. This corroborates a continental origin of these particles, consistent with the results from our INP source analysis. Overall, we suggest that high NINP of biogenic INPs originated from terrestrial sources and were added to the marine air masses during the overflow of a maximum of roughly 150 km of land before arriving at the measurement station.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Appel, Oliver; Köllner, Franziska; Dragoneas, Antonis; Hünig, Andreas; Molleker, Sergej; Schlager, Hans; Mahnke, Christoph; Weigel, Ralf; Port, Max; Schulz, Christiane; +4 more
    Project: EC | STRATOCLIM (603557), EC | EXCATRO (321040)

    Aircraft borne in-situ measurements of the chemical aerosol composition were conducted in the Asian Tropopause Aerosol layer (ATAL) over the Indian subcontinent in summer 2017 covering particle sizes below 3 µm. We have implemented a recently developed aerosol mass spectrometer, which adopts the laser desorption technique as well as the thermal desorption method for quantitative bulk information (i.e. a modified Aerodyne AMS), aboard the high altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysica. The instrument was deployed in July and August 2017 during the StratoClim EU campaign (Stratospheric and upper tropospheric processes for better climate predictions) over Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and the Bay of Bengal, covering altitudes up to 20 km a.s.l. For particles with diameters between 10 nm and ~3 µm the vertical profiles of aerosol number densities from the eight research flights show significant enhancements in the altitude range of the ATAL. We observed enhancements in the mass concentrations of particulate nitrate, ammonium, and organics in a similar altitude range between approximately 13 km and 18 km (corresponding to 360 K and 410 K potential temperature). By means of the two aerosol mass spectrometry techniques, we show that the particles in the ATAL mainly consist of ammonium nitrate and organics. The single particle analysis from laser desorption and ionizaton mass spectrometry revealed that a significant particle fraction (up to 70 % of all analyzed particles by number) within the ATAL results from the conversion of inorganic and organic gas-phase precursors, rather than from the uplift of primary particles from below. This can be inferred from the fact that the majority of the particles encountered in the ATAL consisted solely of secondary substances, namely an internal mixture of nitrate, ammonium, sulfate, and organic matter. These particles are externally mixed with particles containing primary components as well. The single particle analyses suggest that the organic matter within the ATAL and in the lower stratosphere (even above 420 K) can partly be identified as organosulfates, in particular glycolic acid sulfate, which are known as components indicative for secondary organic aerosol formation. Also, the secondary particles are smaller in size compared to those containing primary components (mainly potassium, metals, and elemental carbon). The analysis of particulate organics with the thermal desorption method shows that the degree of oxidation for particles observed in the ATAL is consistent with expectations about secondary organics that were subject to photochemical processing and ageing. We found that organic aerosol was less oxidized in lower regions of the ATAL (< 380 K) compared to higher altitudes (here 390–420 K). These results suggest that particles formed in the lower ATAL are uplifted by diabatic heating processes and thereby subject to extensive oxidative ageing. Thus, our observations are consistent with the concept of precursor gases being emitted from regional ground sources, subjected to rapid convective uplift, and followed by secondary particle formation and growth in the upper troposphere within the confinement of the Asian monsoon anticyclone. As a consequence the chemical composition of these particles largely differs from the aerosol in the lower stratospheric background and the Junge layer.

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