Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 18823-18852, 2011
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/18823/2011/
doi:10.5194/acpd-11-18823-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The first estimates of global nucleation mode aerosol concentrations based on satellite measurements
M. Kulmala1, A. Arola2, T. Nieminen1, L. Riuttanen1, L. Sogacheva3, G. de Leeuw1,3, V.-M. Kerminen3, and K. E. J. Lehtinen2
1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
2Kuopio Unit, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland
3Climate Change Unit, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland

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 primary emissions. The global pattern of nucleation mode particle number concentration predicted by satellite data using our proxies compares fairly well with both observations and global model simulations.

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. Discuss., 11, 18823-18852, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-18823-2011, 2011.
 
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