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Near-global aerosol mapping in the upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere with data from the CARIBIC project




This study extrapolates aerosol data of the CARIBIC project from 1997 until June 2008 in along trajectories to compose large-scale maps and vertical profiles of submicrometre particle concentrations in the upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere (UT/LMS). The extrapolation was validated by comparing extrapolated values with CARIBIC data measured near the respective trajectory position and by comparing extrapolated CARIBIC data to measurements by other experiments near the respective trajectory positions. Best agreement between extrapolated and measured data is achieved with particle lifetimes longer than the maximum length of used trajectories. The derived maps reveal regions of strong and frequent new particle formation, namely the Tropical Central and Western Africa with the adjacent Atlantic, South America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. These regions of particle formation coincide with those of frequent deep convective clouds. Vertical particle concentration profiles for the troposphere and the stratosphere confirm statistically previous results indicating frequent new particle formation in the tropopause region. There was no statistically significant increase in Aitken mode particle concentration between the first period of CARIBIC operation, 1997–2002, and the second period, 2004–2009. However, a significant increase in concentration occurred within the latter period when considering it in isolation.