Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 29967-30019, 2012
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/29967/2012/
doi:10.5194/acpd-12-29967-2012
© Author(s) 2012. 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.
Arctic aerosol life cycle: linking aerosol size distributions observed between 2000 and 2010 with air mass transport and precipitation at Zeppelin station, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard
P. Tunved, J. Ström, and R. Krejci
Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 11418, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. In this study we present a qualitative and quantitative assessment of more the 10 yr of aerosol number size distribution data observed in the Arctic environment (Mt Zeppelin (78°56' N, 11°53' E, 474 m a.s.l.), Ny Ålesund, Svalbard). We provide statistics on both seasonal and diurnal characteristics of the aerosol observations and conclude that the Arctic aerosol number size distribution and auxiliary parameters such as integral mass and surface have a very pronounced seasonal variation. This seasonal variation seems to be controlled by both dominating source as well as meteorological conditions in general. In principle, three distinctly different periods can be identified during the Arctic year: the haze period characterized by a dominating accumulation mode aerosol (March–May) followed by the sunlit summer period with low abundance of accumulation mode particles but high concentration of small particles which likely are recently and locally formed (June–August). The rest of the year is characterized by comparably low concentration of accumulation mode particles and negligible abundance of ultra fine particles (September–February). Minimum aerosol mass and number concentration is usually observed during September/October. We further show that the transition between the different regimes is fast, suggesting rapid change in conditions defining their appearance. A source climatology based on trajectory analysis is provided and it is shown that there is a strong seasonality of dominating source areas, with dominance of Eurasia during the autumn-winter period and dominance of North Atlantic air during the summer months. We also show that new particle formation events seem to be a rather common phenomenon during the Arctic summer, and this is the result of both photochemical production of nucleating/condensing species and low condensation sink. It is also suggested that wet removal play a key role in defining the Arctic aerosol year, and plays a crucial role for removal of accumulation mode size particles as well as it may play a pivotal role for facilitating the conditions favoring new particle formation events. In summary the aerosol Arctic year seems to be at least qualitatively predictable based on knowledge of seasonality of transport paths and associated source areas, meteorological conditions and removal processes.

Citation: Tunved, P., Ström, J., and Krejci, R.: Arctic aerosol life cycle: linking aerosol size distributions observed between 2000 and 2010 with air mass transport and precipitation at Zeppelin station, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 29967-30019, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-29967-2012, 2012.
 
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