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4 Research products, page 1 of 1

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  • 2013-2022
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)
  • Aurora Universities Network

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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: 
    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: 
    Picquet-Varrault, Bénédicte; Suarez-Bertoa, Ricardo; Duncianu, Marius; Cazaunau, Mathieu; Pangui, Edouard; David, Marc; Doussin, Jean-François;
    Project: EC | EUROCHAMP-2 (228335), EC | EUROCHAMP-2020 (730997)

    Multifunctional organic nitrates, including carbonyl nitrates, are important species formed in NOx-rich atmospheres by the degradation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds have been shown to play a key role in the transport of reactive nitrogen and, consequently, in the ozone budget; they are also known to be important components of the total organic aerosol. However, very little is known about their reactivity in both the gas and condensed phases. Following a previous study that we published on the gas-phase reactivity of α-nitrooxy ketones, the photolysis and reaction with OH radicals of 4-nitrooxy-2-butanone and 5-nitrooxy-2-pentanone (which are a β-nitrooxy ketone and γ-nitrooxy ketone, respectively) were investigated for the first time in simulation chambers. The photolysis frequencies were directly measured in the CESAM chamber, which is equipped with a very realistic irradiation system. The jnitrate/jNO2 ratios were found to be (5.9±0.9)×10-3 for 4-nitrooxy-2-butanone and (3.2±0.9)×10-3 for 5-nitrooxy-2-pentanone under our experimental conditions. From these results, it was estimated that ambient photolysis frequencies calculated for typical tropospheric irradiation conditions corresponding to the 1 July at noon at 40∘ N (overhead ozone column of 300 and albedo of 0.1) are (6.1±0.9)×10-5 s−1 and (3.3±0.9)×10-5 s−1 for 4-nitrooxy-2-butanone and 5-nitrooxy-2-pentanone, respectively. These results demonstrate that photolysis is a very efficient sink for these compounds with atmospheric lifetimes of few hours. They also suggest that, similarly to α-nitrooxy ketones, β-nitrooxy ketones have enhanced UV absorption cross sections and quantum yields equal to or close to unity and that γ-nitrooxy ketones have a lower enhancement of cross sections, which can easily be explained by the larger distance between the two chromophore groups. Thanks to a product study, the branching ratio between the two possible photodissociation pathways is also proposed. Rate constants for the reaction with OH radicals were found to be (2.9±1.0)×10-12 and (3.3±0.9)×10-12 cm3 molecule−1 s−1, respectively. These experimental data are in good agreement with rate constants estimated by the structure–activity relationship (SAR) of Kwok and Atkinson (1995) when using the parametrization proposed by Suarez-Bertoa et al. (2012) for carbonyl nitrates. Comparison with photolysis rates suggests that the OH-initiated oxidation of carbonyl nitrates is a less efficient sink than photodissociation but is not negligible in polluted areas.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Watson-Parris, Duncan; Schutgens, Nick; Reddington, Carly; Pringle, Kirsty J.; Liu, Dantong; Allan, James D.; Coe, Hugh; Carslaw, Ken S.; Stier, Philip;
    Project: UKRI | access to EnVironmental A... (ST/P003206/1), EC | BACCHUS (603445), UKRI | CLouds and Aerosol Radiat... (NE/L01355X/1), UKRI | Global Aerosol Synthesis ... (NE/J022624/1), EC | RECAP (724602), UKRI | The Aerosol-Cloud Uncerta... (NE/P013406/1), UKRI | Improving Model Processes... (NE/M017206/1)

    Despite ongoing efforts, the vertical distribution of aerosols globally is poorly understood. This in turn leads to large uncertainties in the contributions of the direct and indirect aerosol forcing on climate. Using the Global Aerosol Synthesis and Science Project (GASSP) database – the largest synthesised collection of in-situ aircraft measurements currently available, with more than 1000 flights from 37 campaigns from around the world – we investigate the vertical structure of sub-micron aerosols across a wide range of regions and environments. The application of this unique dataset to assess the vertical distributions of number size distribution and Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) in the global aerosol-climate model ECHAM-HAM reveals that the model underestimates accumulation mode particles in the upper troposphere, especially in remote regions. The processes underlying this discrepancy are explored using different aerosol microphysical schemes and a process sensitivity analysis. These show that the biases are predominantly related to aerosol ageing and removal rather than emissions.

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