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The first estimates of global nucleation mode aerosol concentrations based on satellite measurements

by M. Kulmala, A. Arola, T. Nieminen, L. Riuttanen, L. Sogacheva, G. de Leeuw, V.-M. Kerminen, K. E. J. Lehtinen
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions ()

Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols play a key role in the Earth's climate system by scattering and absorbing solar radiation and by acting as cloud condensation nuclei. Satellites are increasingly used to obtain information on properties of aerosol particles with a diameter larger than about 100 nm. However, new aerosol particles formed by nucleation are initially much smaller and grow into the optically active size range on time scales of many hours. In this paper we derive proxies, based on process understanding and ground-based observations, to determine the concentrations of these new particles and their spatial distribution using satellite data. The results are applied to provide seasonal variation of nucleation mode concentration. The proxies describe the concentration of nucleation mode particles over continents. The source rates are related to both regional nucleation and nucleation associated with more restricted sources. The global pattern of nucleation mode particle number concentration predicted by satellite data using our proxies is compared qualitatively against both observations and global model simulations. Final Revised Paper (PDF, 2198 KB) Discussion Paper (ACPD) Citation: Kulmala, M., Arola, A., Nieminen, T., Riuttanen, L., Sogacheva, L., de Leeuw, G., Kerminen, V.-M., and Lehtinen, K. E. J.: The first estimates of global nucleation mode aerosol concentrations based on satellite measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 10791-10801, doi:10.5194/acp-11-10791-2011, 2011. Bibtex EndNote Reference Manager XML

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