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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-04-30
    Description: The occurrence of frequent aerosol nucleation and growth events in the Arctic during summertime may impact the region's climate through increasing the number of cloud condensation nuclei in the Arctic atmosphere. Measurements of aerosol size distributions and aerosol composition were taken during the summers of 2015 and 2016 at Eureka and Alert on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. These results provide a better understanding of the frequency and spatial extent of elevated Aitken mode aerosol concentrations as well as of the composition and sources of aerosol mass during particle growth. Frequent appearances of small particles followed by growth occurred throughout the summer. These particle growth events were observed beginning in June with the melting of the sea ice rather than with the polar sunrise, which strongly suggests that influence from the marine boundary layer was the primary cause of the events. Correlated particle growth events at the two sites, separated by 480 km, indicate conditions existing over large scales play a key role in determining the timing and the characteristics of the events. In addition, aerosol mass spectrometry measurements were used to analyze the size-resolved chemical composition of aerosols during two selected growth events. It was found that particles with diameters between 50 and 80 nm (physical diameter) during these growth events were predominately organic with only a small sulfate contribution. The oxidation of the organics also changed with particle size, with the fraction of organic acids increasing with diameter from 80 to 400 nm. The growth events at Eureka were observed most often when the temperature inversion between the sea and the measurement site (at 610 m a.s.l.) was non-existent or weak, presumably creating conditions with low aerosol condensation sink and allowing fresh marine emissions to be mixed upward to the observatory's altitude. While the nature of the gaseous precursors responsible for the growth events is still poorly understood, oxidation of dimethyl sulfide alone to produce particle-phase sulfate or methanesulfonic acid was inconsistent with the measured aerosol composition, suggesting the importance of other gas-phase organic compounds condensing for particle growth.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-03-04
    Description: Summertime Arctic aerosol size distributions are strongly controlled by natural regional emissions. Within this context, we use a chemical transport model with size-resolved aerosol microphysics (GEOS-Chem-TOMAS) to interpret measurements of aerosol size distributions from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during the summer of 2016, as part of the “NETwork on Climate and Aerosols: Addressing key uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments” (NETCARE) project. Our simulations suggest that condensation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from precursor vapors emitted in the Arctic and near Arctic marine (ice-free seawater) regions plays a key role in particle growth events that shape the aerosol size distributions observed at Alert (82.5∘ N, 62.3∘ W), Eureka (80.1∘ N, 86.4∘ W), and along a NETCARE ship track within the Archipelago. We refer to this SOA as Arctic marine SOA (AMSOA) to reflect the Arctic marine-based and likely biogenic sources for the precursors of the condensing organic vapors. AMSOA from a simulated flux (500 µgm-2day-1, north of 50∘ N) of precursor vapors (with an assumed yield of unity) reduces the summertime particle size distribution model–observation mean fractional error 2- to 4-fold, relative to a simulation without this AMSOA. Particle growth due to the condensable organic vapor flux contributes strongly (30 %–50 %) to the simulated summertime-mean number of particles with diameters larger than 20 nm in the study region. This growth couples with ternary particle nucleation (sulfuric acid, ammonia, and water vapor) and biogenic sulfate condensation to account for more than 90 % of this simulated particle number, which represents a strong biogenic influence. The simulated fit to summertime size-distribution observations is further improved at Eureka and for the ship track by scaling up the nucleation rate by a factor of 100 to account for other particle precursors such as gas-phase iodine and/or amines and/or fragmenting primary particles that could be missing from our simulations. Additionally, the fits to the observed size distributions and total aerosol number concentrations for particles larger than 4 nm improve with the assumption that the AMSOA contains semi-volatile species: the model–observation mean fractional error is reduced 2- to 3-fold for the Alert and ship track size distributions. AMSOA accounts for about half of the simulated particle surface area and volume distributions in the summertime Canadian Arctic Archipelago, with climate-relevant simulated summertime pan-Arctic-mean top-of-the-atmosphere aerosol direct (−0.04 W m−2) and cloud-albedo indirect (−0.4 W m−2) radiative effects, which due to uncertainties are viewed as an order of magnitude estimate. Future work should focus on further understanding summertime Arctic sources of AMSOA.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Summertime Arctic aerosol size distributions are strongly controlled by natural regional emissions. Within this context, we use a chemical transport model with size-resolved aerosol microphysics (GEOS-Chem-TOMAS) to interpret measurements of aerosol size distributions from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during the summer of 2016, as part of the NETwork on Climate and Aerosols: addressing key uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments (NETCARE). Our simulations suggest that condensation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from precursor vapors emitted in the Arctic and near Arctic marine (open ocean and coastal) regions plays a key role in particle growth events that shape the aerosol size distributions observed at Alert (82.5°N, 62.3°W), Eureka (80.1°N, 86.4°W), and along a NETCARE ship track within the Archipelago. We refer to this SOA as Arctic marine SOA (Arctic MSOA) to reflect the Arctic marine-based and likely biogenic sources for the precursors of the condensing organic vapors. Arctic MSOA from a simulated flux (500μgm−2d−1, north of 50°N) of precursor vapors (assumed yield of unity) reduces the summertime particle size distribution model-observation mean fractional error by 2- to 4-fold, relative to a simulation without this Arctic MSOA. Particle growth due to the condensable organic vapor flux contributes strongly (30–50%) to the simulated summertime-mean number of particles with diameters larger than 20nm in the study region, and couples with ternary particle nucleation (sulfuric acid, ammonia, and water vapor) and biogenic sulfate condensation to account for more than 90% of this simulated particle number, a strong biogenic influence. The simulated fit to summertime size-distribution observations is further improved at Eureka and for the ship track by scaling up the nucleation rate by a factor of 100 to account for other particle precursors such as gas-phase iodine and/or amines and/or fragmenting primary particles that could be missing from our simulations. Additionally, the fits to observed size distributions and total aerosol number concentrations for particles larger than 4nm improve with the assumption that the Arctic MSOA contains semi-volatile species; reducing model-observation mean fractional error by 2- to 3-fold for the Alert and ship track size distributions. Arctic MSOA accounts for more than half of the simulated total particulate organic matter mass concentrations in the summertime Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and this Arctic MSOA has strong simulated summertime pan-Arctic-mean top-of-the-atmosphere aerosol direct (−0.04Wm−2) and cloud-albedo indirect (−0.4Wm−2) radiative effects. Future work should focus on further understanding summertime Arctic sources of Arctic MSOA.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-05-08
    Description: The occurrence of frequent aerosol nucleation and growth events in the Arctic during summertime may impact the region’s climate through increasing the number of cloud condensation nuclei in the Arctic atmosphere. Measurements of aerosol size distributions and aerosol composition were taken during the summers of 2015 and 2016 at Eureka and Alert on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. The corresponding results provide a better understanding of the frequency and spatial extent of these nucleation and growth events as well as of the composition and sources of aerosol mass during particle growth. These events are observed beginning in June with the melting of the sea ice rather than with polar sunrise, which strongly suggests emissions from marine sources are the primary cause of the events. Frequent particle nucleation followed by growth occurs throughout the summer. Correlated particle growths events at the two sites, separated by 480km, indicate conditions existing over such large scales play a key role in determining the timing and the characteristics of the events. In addition, aerosol mass spectrometry measurements are used to analyze the size-resolved chemical composition of aerosols during two selected growth events. It is found that particles with diameters smaller than 100nm are predominately organic with only a small sulphate contribution. The oxidation of the organic fraction also changes with particle size with larger particles containing a greater fraction of organic acids relative to other non-acid oxygenates (e.g. alcohols or aldehydes). It is also observed that the relative amount of m/z 44 in the measured mass spectra increases during the growth events suggesting increases in organic acid concentrations in the particle phase. The nucleation and growth events at Eureka are observed most often when the temperature inversion between the sea and the measurement site (at 610ma.s.l.) is non-existent or weak allowing presumably fresh marine emissions to be mixed upward to the observatory altitude. While the nature of the gaseous precursors responsible for the growth events are poorly understood, oxidation of dimethyl sulphide alone to produce particle phase sulphate or methanesulphonic acid is not consistent with the measured aerosol composition, suggesting the importance of condensation of other gas phase organic compounds for particle growth.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
    Location Call Number Expected Availability
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