Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Cloud condensation nuclei closure during the International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation 2004 campaign: Effects of size-resolved composition

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Abstract

[1] Measurements of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), aerosol size distribution and chemical composition were obtained at the UNH-AIRMAP Thompson Farms site, during the ICARTT 2004 campaign. This work focuses on the analysis of a week of measurements, during which semiurban and continental air were sampled. Predictions of CCN concentrations were carried out using “simple” Köhler theory; the predictions are subsequently compared with CCN measurements at 0.2%, 0.3%, 0.37%, 0.5% and 0.6% supersaturation. Using size-averaged chemical composition, CCN are substantially overpredicted (by 35.8 ± 28.5%). Introducing size-dependent chemical composition substantially improved closure (average error 17.4 ± 27.0%). CCN closure is worse during periods of changing wind direction, suggesting that the introduction of aerosol mixing state into CCN predictions may sometimes be required. Finally, knowledge of the soluble salt fraction is sufficient for description of CCN activity.

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