Journal article

Efficiency of cloud condensation nuclei formation from ultrafine particles

Pierce J, Adams P ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 7 (2007) p. 1367–1379

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Atmospheric cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations are a key uncertainty in the assessment of the effect of anthropogenic aerosol on clouds and climate. The ability of new ultrafine particles to grow to become CCN varies throughout the atmosphere and must be understood in order to understand CCN formation. We have developed the Probability of Ultrafine particle Growth (PUG) model to answer questions regarding which growth and sink mechanisms control this growth, how the growth varies between different parts of the atmosphere and how uncertainties with respect to the magnitude and size distribution of ultrafine emissions translates into uncertainty in CCN generation. The inputs to the PUG model are the concentrations of condensable gases, the size distribution of ambient aerosol, particle deposition timescales and physical properties of the particles and condensable gases. It was found in most cases that condensation is the dominant growth mechanism and coagulation with larger particles is the dominant sink mechanism for ultrafine particles. In this work we found that the probability of a new ultrafine particle generating a CCN varies from

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  • J R Pierce

  • P J Adams

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