1Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, CNRS, Université Blaise Pascal, UMR6016, Clermont-Ferrand, France
2Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
3Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Météo-France, Toulouse, France
4Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
5Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement, Université de Grenoble, CNRS, Grenoble, France
Abstract. Within the frame of the European Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interactions (EUCAARI) project the Météo-France aircraft ATR-42 performed 22 research flights, over central Europe and the North Sea during the intensive observation period in May 2008. For the campaign, the ATR-42 was equipped in order to study aerosol physical, chemical and optical properties, as well as cloud microphysics. During the campaign, continental air masses from Eastern and Western Europe were encountered, along with polar and Scandinavian air masses. For the 22 research flights, retroplume analyses along the flight tracks were performed with FLEXPART in order to classify air masses into five sectors of origin which allows for a qualitative evaluation of emission influence on the respective air parcel.
In the polluted boundary layer (BL), typical concentrations of particles with diameters larger than 10 nm (N10) are of the order of 5000–6000 cm−3, whereas N10 concentrations of clean air masses were lower than 1300 cm−3. The detection of the largest particle number concentrations occurred in air masses coming from Polar and Scandinavian regions for which an elevated number of nucleation mode (25–28 nm) particles was observed and attributed to new particle formation over open sea. In the free troposphere (FT), typical observed N10 are of the order of 900 cm−3 in polluted air masses and 400–600 cm−3 in clean air masses, respectively. In both layers, the chemical composition of submicron aerosol particles is dominated by organic matter and nitrate in polluted air masses, while, sulphate and ammonium followed by organics dominate the submicron aerosols in clean air masses. The highest CCN/CN ratios were observed within the polar air masses while the CCN concentration values are the highest within the polluted air masses.
Within the five air mass sectors defined and the two layers (BL and FT), observations have been distinguished into anticyclonic (first half of May 2008) and cyclonic conditions (second half of May 2008). Strong relationships between meteorological conditions and physical, chemical as well as optical properties are found.