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Other research product . 2019

Formation and growth of atmospheric nanoparticles in the eastern Mediterranean: results from long-term measurements and process simulations

Kalivitis, Nikos; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Kouvarakis, Giorgos; Stavroulas, Iasonas; Tzitzikalaki, Evaggelia; Kalkavouras, Panayiotis; Daskalakis, Nikos; +9 Authors
Open Access
Published: 01 Mar 2019

Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is a common phenomenon all over the world. In this study we present the longest time series of NPF records in the eastern Mediterranean region by analyzing 10 years of aerosol number size distribution data obtained with a mobility particle sizer. The measurements were performed at the Finokalia environmental research station on Crete, Greece, during the period June 2008–June 2018. We found that NPF took place on 27 % of the available days, undefined days were 23 % and non-event days 50 %. NPF is more frequent in April and May probably due to the terrestrial biogenic activity and is less frequent in August. Throughout the period under study, nucleation was observed also during the night. Nucleation mode particles had the highest concentration in winter and early spring, mainly because of the minimum sinks, and their average contribution to the total particle number concentration was 8 %. Nucleation mode particle concentrations were low outside periods of active NPF and growth, so there are hardly any other local sources of sub-25 nm particles. Additional atmospheric ion size distribution data simultaneously collected for more than 2 years were also analyzed. Classification of NPF events based on ion spectrometer measurements differed from the corresponding classification based on a mobility spectrometer, possibly indicating a different representation of local and regional NPF events between these two measurement data sets. We used the MALTE-Box model for simulating a case study of NPF in the eastern Mediterranean region. Monoterpenes contributing to NPF can explain a large fraction of the observed NPF events according to our model simulations. However the adjusted parameterization resulting from our sensitivity tests was significantly different from the initial one that had been determined for the boreal environment.

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Funded by
Impact of Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions on Clouds and Climate: towards a Holistic UnderStanding
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 603445
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | ENV
Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 654109
  • Funding stream: H2020 | RIA