Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 1019-1052, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
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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.
Absorbing aerosols at high relative humidity: closure between hygroscopic growth and optical properties
J. M. Flores1,2,*, R. Z. Bar-Or3, N. Bluvshtein3, A. Abo-Riziq3, A. Kostinski4, S. Borrmann1,2, I. Koren3, and Y. Rudich3
1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Particle Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany
2University of Mainz, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Mainz, Germany
3Weizmann Institute of Science, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Rehovot, Israel
4Department of Physics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA
*now at: Weizmann Institute of Science, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Rehovot, Israel

Abstract. The extinction coefficient and growth factor of humidified aerosols, at 80% and 90% RH, and at 532 nm and 355 nm wavelengths were measured for size-selected particles for ammonium sulfate, IHSS Pahokee peat (a lightly absorbing humic-like substance proxy), nigrosine (a black dye to model highly absorbing substances), and a mixture of AS and nigrosine. The ratio of the humidified extinction coefficients to the dry (fRHext(%RH, Dry)) was explored. The measured fRHext(%RH, Dry) was compared to theoretical calculations based on Mie theory, using the measured growth factors and assuming homogeneous mixing. The expected complex refractive indices (RIs) using the volume weighted mixing rule were compared to the RIs derived from the extinction measurements. Moreover, the differences between assuming a core-shell structure or a homogeneous mixing of the substances is examined. The laboratory results were used as a basis to model the change in the total extinction, the single scattering albedo (ω), and the asymmetry parameter (g) in the twilight zone of clouds at 355 nm and 532 nm.

We found slightly linear to no dependency of fRH(%RH, Dry) with size for absorbing substances in contrast to the decreasing exponential behavior with size for purely scattering substances. However, no discernable difference could be made between the two wavelengths used. Less than 5% differences were found between the real parts of the complex refractive indices derived and those calculated using the volume weighted mixing rule, and the imaginary parts had up to a 20% difference. Moreover, for substances with growth factor less than 1.15 there was, in average, less than 5% difference between the extinction efficiencies calculated using a core-shell model and assuming homogeneous mixing for size parameters less than 2.5. For x>2.5 the differences were greater causing and overestimation of the extinction efficiency (Qext) values if homogenous mixing was assume instead of a core-shell structure.

The total extinction as a function of distance from the nearest cloud was found to be independent from the imaginary component (k) of the dry RI of the absorbing aerosols modeled. On the other hand, the single scattering albedo, as expected, decreased with larger values of k, whereas the asymmetry parameter increased suggesting a reduction in the reflectivity of the twilight zone with more absorbing aerosols and a reduction of cloud edge 3-D radiative effects.

Citation: Flores, J. M., Bar-Or, R. Z., Bluvshtein, N., Abo-Riziq, A., Kostinski, A., Borrmann, S., Koren, I., and Rudich, Y.: Absorbing aerosols at high relative humidity: closure between hygroscopic growth and optical properties, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 1019-1052, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-1019-2012, 2012.
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