Characterization of marine boundary layer aerosol from north Atlantic and European sources: physical and chemical properties and climate forcing parameters
This thesis focuses on aerosol properties measured in Southwestern Portugal during the second Aerosol Characterization Experiment. Fundamental aerosol physical properties such as particle size distribution and hygroscopic properties are related to possible sources and aerosol transformation processes. From these fundamental properties we derive aerosol properties that are important for aerosol forcing of climate. First, a new method for calculating CCN spectra is proposed in this work and tested using sensitivity studies and comparisons to direct measurements. The measured and calculated CCN spectra differ on average by 30%, which at small supersaturations is similar to the measurement uncertainties. Second, aerosol number to volume ratios (R) are calculated and the fact that values of R are relatively constrained is explained based on observed correlations between size distribution parameters. Third, a simple parameterization of the humidity dependence of the submicron aerosol scattering coefficient has been derived, depending only on a volume weighted average diameter growth factor and the volume mean diameter of the dry size distribution. One set of empirical parameters can be used to parameterize all aerosol types characterized during the ACE-2 measurement period.Aerosol physical properties and climate forcing parameters in the North-East Atlantic Ocean were clearly affected by pollution outbreaks from Europe. The submicron particle volume increased by a factor of 5 in polluted conditions, the light scattering coefficient of dry particles increased on average by a factor of up to 10, CCN concentrations at supersaturations of 0.2% increased by a factor of 3--5. The aerosol fundamental properties vary often strongly with air mass history, but also show short-term variability that often has a characteristic diurnal scale. The number concentration of fine particles below 50nm and the particle hygroscopic growth factors are mostly dominated by diurnal processes. The variability in the fine particle number concentration can explained by particle nucleation in the morning hours and subsequent particle growth to larger sizes. On the other hand the number concentration of particles in the accumulation mode size range is mostly determined by long range transport.
- Atmospheric sciences