Journal article

Semi-empirical parameterization of size-dependent atmospheric nanoparticle growth in continental environments

Häkkinen S, Manninen H, Yli-Juuti T, Merikanto J, Kajos M, Nieminen T, D'Andrea S, Asmi A, Pierce J, Kulmala M, Riipinen I ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 15 (2013) pp. 7665-7682

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The capability to accurately yet efficiently represent atmospheric
nanoparticle growth by biogenic and anthropogenic secondary organics is
a challenge for current atmospheric large-scale models. It is, however,
crucial to predict nanoparticle growth accurately in order to reliably
estimate the atmospheric cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations.
In this work we introduce a simple semi-empirical parameterization for
sub-20 nm particle growth that distributes secondary organics to the
nanoparticles according to their size and is therefore able to reproduce
particle growth observed in the atmosphere. The parameterization
includes particle growth by sulfuric acid, secondary organics from
monoterpene oxidation (SORG(MT)) and an additional condensable vapor of
non-monoterpene organics ({''}background{''}). The performance of the
proposed parameterization was investigated using ambient data on
particle growth rates in three diameter ranges (1.5-3 nm, 3-7 nm and
7-20 nm). The growth rate data were acquired from particle / air ion
number size distribution measurements at six continental sites over
Europe. The longest time series of 7 yr (2003-2009) was obtained from a
boreal forest site in Hyytiala, Finland, while about one year of data
(2008-2009) was used for the other stations. The extensive ambient
measurements made it possible to test how well the parameterization
captures the seasonal cycle observed in sub-20 nm particle growth and to
determine the weighing factors for distributing the SORG(MT) for
different sized particles as well as the background mass flux
(concentration). Besides the monoterpene oxidation products, background
organics with a concentration comparable to SORGMT, around 6x10(7)
cm(-3) (consistent with an additional global SOA yield of 100 Tg yr(-1))
was needed to reproduce the observed nanoparticle growth. Simulations
with global models suggest that the ``background{''} could be linked to
secondary biogenic organics that are formed in the presence of
anthropogenic pollution.

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  • S. A K Häkkinen

  • H. E. Manninen

  • T. Yli-Juuti

  • J. Merikanto

  • M. K. Kajos

  • T. Nieminen

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