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  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Clyne, Margot; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Mills, Michael J.; Khodri, Myriam; Ball, William; Bekki, Slimane; Dhomse, Sandip S.; Lebas, Nicolas; Mann, Graham; Marshall, Lauren; +13 more
    Project: UKRI | The North Atlantic Climat... (NE/N018001/1), SNSF | SPARC International Proje... (138017), NSF | Decadal Prediction Follow... (1430051), EC | STRATOCLIM (603557), UKRI | Reconciling Volcanic Forc... (NE/S000887/1)

    As part of the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP), several climate modeling centers performed a coordinated pre-study experiment with interactive stratospheric aerosol models simulating the volcanic aerosol cloud from an eruption resembling the 1815 Mt. Tambora eruption (VolMIP-Tambora ISA ensemble). The pre-study provided the ancillary ability to assess intermodel diversity in the radiative forcing for a large stratospheric-injecting equatorial eruption when the volcanic aerosol cloud is simulated interactively. An initial analysis of the VolMIP-Tambora ISA ensemble showed large disparities between models in the stratospheric global mean aerosol optical depth (AOD). In this study, we now show that stratospheric global mean AOD differences among the participating models are primarily due to differences in aerosol size, which we track here by effective radius. We identify specific physical and chemical processes that are missing in some models and/or parameterized differently between models, which are together causing the differences in effective radius. In particular, our analysis indicates that interactively tracking hydroxyl radical (OH) chemistry following a large volcanic injection of sulfur dioxide (SO2) is an important factor in allowing for the timescale for sulfate formation to be properly simulated. In addition, depending on the timescale of sulfate formation, there can be a large difference in effective radius and subsequently AOD that results from whether the SO2 is injected in a single model grid cell near the location of the volcanic eruption, or whether it is injected as a longitudinally averaged band around the Earth.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rowlinson, Matthew J.; Rap, Alexandru; Hamilton, Douglas S.; Pope, Richard J.; Hantson, Stijn; Arnold, Steve R.; Kaplan, Jed O.; Arneth, Almut; Chipperfield, Martyn P.; Forster, Piers M.; +1 more
    Project: EC | BACCHUS (603445), EC | CONSTRAIN (820829), UKRI | NERC Science @ Leeds and ... (NE/L002574/1), EC | LUC4C (603542)

    Tropospheric ozone concentrations are sensitive to natural emissions of precursor compounds. In contrast to existing assumptions, recent evidence indicates that terrestrial vegetation emissions in the pre-industrial era were larger than in the present day. We use a chemical transport model and a radiative transfer model to show that revised inventories of pre-industrial fire and biogenic emissions lead to an increase in simulated pre-industrial ozone concentrations, decreasing the estimated pre-industrial to present-day tropospheric ozone radiative forcing by up to 34 % (0.38 to 0.25 W m−2). We find that this change is sensitive to employing biomass burning and biogenic emissions inventories based on matching vegetation patterns, as the co-location of emission sources enhances the effect on ozone formation. Our forcing estimates are at the lower end of existing uncertainty range estimates (0.2–0.6 W m−2), without accounting for other sources of uncertainty. Thus, future work should focus on reassessing the uncertainty range of tropospheric ozone radiative forcing.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Stolzenburg, Dominik; Simon, Mario; Ranjithkumar, Ananth; Kürten, Andreas; Lehtipalo, Katrianne; Gordon, Hamish; Ehrhart, Sebastian; Finkenzeller, Henning; Pichelstorfer, Lukas; Nieminen, Tuomo; +68 more
    Project: EC | NANODYNAMITE (616075), FWF | Chemical composition of a... (P 27295), SNSF | CLOUD Infrastructure proj... (172622), AKA | From Autoxidation to Auto... (299574), NSF | Collaborative Research: C... (1801280), NSF | Collaborative Research: C... (1801329), AKA | Oxidised organic vapours ... (310682), EC | CLOUD-MOTION (764991), SNSF | CLOUD (159851), EC | COFUND-FP-CERN-2014 (665779),...

    In the present-day atmosphere, sulfuric acid is the most important vapour for aerosol particle formation and initial growth. However, the growth rates of nanoparticles (<10 nm) from sulfuric acid remain poorly measured. Therefore, the effect of stabilizing bases, the contribution of ions and the impact of attractive forces on molecular collisions are under debate. Here, we present precise growth rate measurements of uncharged sulfuric acid particles from 1.8 to 10 nm, performed under atmospheric conditions in the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) CLOUD chamber. Our results show that the evaporation of sulfuric acid particles above 2 nm is negligible, and growth proceeds kinetically even at low ammonia concentrations. The experimental growth rates exceed the hard-sphere kinetic limit for the condensation of sulfuric acid. We demonstrate that this results from van der Waals forces between the vapour molecules and particles and disentangle it from charge–dipole interactions. The magnitude of the enhancement depends on the assumed particle hydration and collision kinetics but is increasingly important at smaller sizes, resulting in a steep rise in the observed growth rates with decreasing size. Including the experimental results in a global model, we find that the enhanced growth rate of sulfuric acid particles increases the predicted particle number concentrations in the upper free troposphere by more than 50 %.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Brilke, Sophia; Fölker, Nikolaus; Müller, Thomas; Kandler, Konrad; Gong, Xianda; Peischl, Jeff; Weinzierl, Bernadett; Winkler, Paul M.;
    Project: EC | A-LIFE (640458), EC | NANODYNAMITE (616075)

    Atmospheric particle size distributions were measured in Paphos, Cyprus, during the A-LIFE (absorbing aerosol layers in a changing climate: ageing, lifetime and dynamics) field experiment from 3 to 30 April 2017. The newly developed differential mobility analyser train (DMA-train) was deployed for the first time in an atmospheric environment for the direct measurement of the nucleation mode size range between 1.8 and 10 nm diameter. The DMA-train set-up consists of seven size channels, of which five are set to fixed particle mobility diameters and two additional diameters are obtained by alternating voltage settings in one DMA every 10 s. In combination with a conventional mobility particle size spectrometer (MPSS) and an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) the complete atmospheric aerosol size distribution from 1.8 nm to 10 µm was covered. The focus of the A-LIFE study was to characterize new particle formation (NPF) in the eastern Mediterranean region at a measurement site with strong local pollution sources. The nearby Paphos airport was found to be a large emission source for nucleation mode particles, and we analysed the size distribution of the airport emission plumes at approximately 500 m from the main runway. The analysis yielded nine NPF events in 27 measurement days from the combined analysis of the DMA-train, MPSS and trace gas monitors. Growth rate calculations were performed, and a size dependency of the initial growth rate (<10 nm) was observed for one event case. Fast changes of the sub-10 nm size distribution on a timescale of a few minutes were captured by the DMA-train measurement during early particle growth and are discussed in a second event case. In two cases, particle formation and growth were detected in the nucleation mode size range which did not exceed the 10 nm threshold. This finding implies that NPF likely occurs more frequently than estimated from studies where the lower nanometre size regime is not covered by the size distribution measurements.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Andersson, August; Kirillova, Elena N.; Decesari, Stefano; DeWitt, Langley; Gasore, Jimmy; Potter, Katherine E.; Prinn, Ronald G.; Rupakheti, Maheswar; Dieu Ndikubwimana, Jean; Nkusi, Julius; +1 more
    Project: EC | HIMALAYABROWNCARBON (623386)

    Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is a global hot spot for aerosol emissions, which affect the regional climate and air quality. In this paper, we use ground-based observations to address the large uncertainties in the source-resolved emission estimation of carbonaceous aerosols. Ambient fine fraction aerosol was collected on filters at the high-altitude (2590 m a.s.l.) Rwanda Climate Observatory (RCO), a SSA background site, during the dry and wet seasons in 2014 and 2015. The concentrations of both the carbonaceous and inorganic ion components show a strong seasonal cycle, with highly elevated concentrations during the dry season. Source marker ratios, including carbon isotopes, show that the wet and dry seasons have distinct aerosol compositions. The dry season is characterized by elevated amounts of biomass burning products, which approach ∼95 % for carbonaceous aerosols. An isotopic mass-balance estimate shows that the amount of the carbonaceous aerosol stemming from savanna fires may increase from 0.2 µg m−3 in the wet season up to 10 µg m−3 during the dry season. Based on these results, we quantitatively show that savanna fire is the key modulator of the seasonal aerosol composition variability at the RCO.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Unglaub, Claudia; Block, Karoline; Mülmenstädt, Johannes; Sourdeval, Odran; Quaas, Johannes;
    Project: EC | QUAERERE (306284)

    Clouds are highly variable in time and space, affecting climate sensitivity and climate change. To study and distinguish the different influences of clouds on the climate system, it is useful to separate clouds into individual cloud regimes. In this work we present a new cloud classification for liquid water clouds at cloud scale defined using cloud parameters retrieved from combined satellite measurements from CloudSat and CALIPSO. The idea is that cloud heterogeneity is a measure that allows us to distinguish cumuliform and stratiform clouds, and cloud-base height is a measure to distinguish cloud altitude. The approach makes use of a newly developed cloud-base height retrieval. Using three cloud-base height intervals and two intervals of cloud-top variability as an inhomogeneity parameter provides six new liquid cloud classes. The results show a smooth transition between marine and continental clouds as well as between stratiform and cumuliform clouds in different latitudes at the high spatial resolution of about 20 km. Analysing the micro- and macrophysical cloud parameters from collocated combined MODIS, CloudSat and CALIPSO retrievals shows distinct characteristics for each cloud regime that are in agreement with expectation and literature. This demonstrates the usefulness of the classification.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Paglione, Marco; Gilardoni, Stefania; Rinaldi, Matteo; Decesari, Stefano; Zanca, Nicola; Sandrini, Silvia; Giulianelli, Lara; Bacco, Dimitri; Ferrari, Silvia; Poluzzi, Vanes; +11 more
    Project: EC | PEGASOS (265148), EC | BACCHUS (603445)

    The Po Valley (Italy) is a well-known air quality hotspot characterized by particulate matter (PM) levels well above the limit set by the European Air Quality Directive and by the World Health Organization, especially during the colder season. In the framework of Emilia-Romagna regional project “Supersito”, the southern Po Valley submicron aerosol chemical composition was characterized by means of high-resolution aerosol mass spectroscopy (HR-AMS) with the specific aim of organic aerosol (OA) characterization and source apportionment. Eight intensive observation periods (IOPs) were carried out over 4 years (from 2011 to 2014) at two different sites (Bologna, BO, urban background, and San Pietro Capofiume, SPC, rural background), to characterize the spatial variability and seasonality of the OA sources, with a special focus on the cold season. On the multi-year basis of the study, the AMS observations show that OA accounts for averages of 45±8 % (ranging from 33 % to 58 %) and 46±7 % (ranging from 36 % to 50 %) of the total non-refractory submicron particle mass (PM1-NR) at the urban and rural sites, respectively. Primary organic aerosol (POA) comprises biomass burning (23±13 % of OA) and fossil fuel (12±7 %) contributions with a marked seasonality in concentration. As expected, the biomass burning contribution to POA is more significant at the rural site (urban / rural concentration ratio of 0.67), but it is also an important source of POA at the urban site during the cold season, with contributions ranging from 14 % to 38 % of the total OA mass. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) contributes to OA mass to a much larger extent than POA at both sites throughout the year (69±16 % and 83±16 % at the urban and rural sites, respectively), with important implications for public health. Within the secondary fraction of OA, the measurements highlight the importance of biomass burning aging products during the cold season, even at the urban background site. This biomass burning SOA fraction represents 14 %–44 % of the total OA mass in the cold season, indicating that in this region a major contribution of combustion sources to PM mass is mediated by environmental conditions and atmospheric reactivity. Among the environmental factors controlling the formation of SOA in the Po Valley, the availability of liquid water in the aerosol was shown to play a key role in the cold season. We estimate that the organic fraction originating from aqueous reactions of biomass burning products (“bb-aqSOA”) represents 21 % (14 %–28 %) and 25 % (14 %–35 %) of the total OA mass and 44 % (32 %–56 %) and 61 % (21 %–100 %) of the SOA mass at the urban and rural sites, respectively.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Mülmenstädt, Johannes; Gryspeerdt, Edward; Salzmann, Marc; Ma, Po-Lun; Dipu, Sudhakar; Quaas, Johannes;
    Project: EC | QUAERERE (306284)

    Using the method of offline radiative transfer modeling within the partial radiative perturbation (PRP) approach, the effective radiative forcing by aerosol–cloud interactions (ERFaci) in the ECHAM–HAMMOZ aerosol climate model is decomposed into a radiative forcing by anthropogenic cloud droplet number change and adjustments of the liquid water path and cloud fraction. The simulated radiative forcing by anthropogenic cloud droplet number change and liquid water path adjustment are of approximately equal magnitude at −0.52 and −0.53 W m−2, respectively, while the cloud-fraction adjustment is somewhat weaker at −0.31 W m−2 (constituting 38 %, 39 %, and 23 % of the total ERFaci, respectively); geographically, all three ERFaci components in the simulation peak over China, the subtropical eastern ocean boundaries, the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Europe, and eastern North America (in order of prominence). Spatial correlations indicate that the temporal-mean liquid water path adjustment is proportional to the temporal-mean radiative forcing, while the relationship between cloud-fraction adjustment and radiative forcing is less direct. While the estimate of warm-cloud ERFaci is relatively insensitive to the treatment of ice and mixed-phase cloud overlying warm cloud, there are indications that more restrictive treatments of ice in the column result in a low bias in the estimated magnitude of the liquid water path adjustment and a high bias in the estimated magnitude of the droplet number forcing. Since the present work is the first PRP decomposition of the aerosol effective radiative forcing into radiative forcing and rapid cloud adjustments, idealized experiments are conducted to provide evidence that the PRP results are accurate. The experiments show that using low-frequency (daily or monthly) time-averaged model output of the cloud property fields underestimates the ERF, but 3-hourly mean output is sufficiently frequent.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Calmer, Radiance; Roberts, Gregory C.; Sanchez, Kevin J.; Sciare, Jean; Sellegri, Karine; Picard, David; Vrekoussis, Mihalis; Pikridas, Michael;
    Project: EC | BACCHUS (603445)

    In the framework of the EU-FP7 BACCHUS (impact of Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions on Clouds and Climate: towards a Holistic UnderStanding) project, an intensive field campaign was performed in Cyprus (March 2015). Remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), ground-based instruments, and remote-sensing observations were operating in parallel to provide an integrated characterization of aerosol–cloud interactions. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) were equipped with a five-hole probe, pyranometers, pressure, temperature and humidity sensors, and measured vertical wind at cloud base and cloud optical properties of a stratocumulus layer. Ground-based measurements of dry aerosol size distributions and cloud condensation nuclei spectra, and RPA observations of updraft and meteorological state parameters are used here to initialize an aerosol–cloud parcel model (ACPM) and compare the in situ observations of cloud optical properties measured by the RPA to those simulated in the ACPM. Two different cases are studied with the ACPM, including an adiabatic case and an entrainment case, in which the in-cloud temperature profile from RPA is taken into account. Adiabatic ACPM simulation yields cloud droplet number concentrations at cloud base (approximately 400 cm−3) that are similar to those derived from a Hoppel minimum analysis. Cloud optical properties have been inferred using the transmitted fraction of shortwave radiation profile measured by downwelling and upwelling pyranometers mounted on a RPA, and the observed transmitted fraction of solar radiation is then compared to simulations from the ACPM. ACPM simulations and RPA observations shows better agreement when associated with entrainment compared to that of an adiabatic case. The mean difference between observed and adiabatic profiles of transmitted fraction of solar radiation is 0.12, while this difference is only 0.03 between observed and entrainment profiles. A sensitivity calculation is then conducted to quantify the relative impacts of 2-fold changes in aerosol concentration, and updraft to highlight the importance of accounting for the impact of entrainment in deriving cloud optical properties, as well as the ability of RPAs to leverage ground-based observations for studying aerosol–cloud interactions.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Eirund, Gesa K.; Possner, Anna; Lohmann, Ulrike;
    Project: EC | BACCHUS (603445)

    The formation and persistence of low-lying mixed-phase clouds (MPCs) in the Arctic depends on a multitude of processes, such as surface conditions, the environmental state, air mass advection, and the ambient aerosol concentration. In this study, we focus on the relative importance of different instantaneous aerosol perturbations (cloud condensation nuclei and ice-nucleating particles; CCN and INPs, respectively) on MPC properties in the European Arctic. To address this topic, we performed high-resolution large-eddy simulation (LES) experiments using the Consortium for Small-scale Modeling (COSMO) model and designed a case study for the Aerosol-Cloud Coupling and Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA) campaign in March 2013. Motivated by ongoing sea ice retreat, we performed all sensitivity studies over open ocean and sea ice to investigate the effect of changing surface conditions. We find that surface conditions highly impact cloud dynamics, consistent with the ACCACIA observations: over sea ice, a rather homogeneous, optically thin, mixed-phase stratus cloud forms. In contrast, the MPC over the open ocean has a stratocumulus-like cloud structure. With cumuli feeding moisture into the stratus layer, the cloud over the open ocean features a higher liquid (LWP) and ice water path (IWP) and has a lifted cloud base and cloud top compared to the cloud over sea ice. Furthermore, we analyzed the aerosol impact on the sea ice and open ocean cloud regime. Perturbation aerosol concentrations relevant for CCN activation were increased to a range between 100 and 1000 cm−3 and ice-nucleating particle perturbations were increased by 100 % and 300 % compared to the background concentration (at every grid point and at all levels). The perturbations are prognostic to allow for fully interactive aerosol–cloud interactions. Perturbations in the INP concentration increase IWP and decrease LWP consistently in both regimes. The cloud microphysical response to potential CCN perturbations occurs faster in the stratocumulus regime over the ocean, where the increased moisture flux favors rapid cloud droplet formation and growth, leading to an increase in LWP following the aerosol injection. In addition, IWP increases through new ice crystal formation by increased immersion freezing, cloud top rise, and subsequent growth by deposition. Over sea ice, the maximum response in LWP and IWP is delayed and weakened compared to the response over the open ocean surface. Additionally, we find the long-term response to aerosol perturbations to be highly dependent on the cloud regime. Over the open ocean, LWP perturbations are efficiently buffered after 18 h simulation time. Increased ice and precipitation formation relax the LWP back to its unperturbed range. On the contrary, over sea ice the cloud evolution remains substantially perturbed with CCN perturbations ranging from 200 to 1000 CCN cm−3.

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