Slower CCN growth kinetics of anthropogenic aerosol compared to biogenic aerosol observed at a rural site
1Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Climate Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
*now at: Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. Growth rates of water droplets were measured with a static diffusion cloud condensation chamber in May–June 2007 at a rural field site in Southern Ontario, Canada, 70 km north of Toronto. Observations were made during periods when the winds were from the south and the site was impacted by anthropogenic air from the US and Southern Ontario as well as during a 5-day period of northerly wind flow when the aerosol was dominated by biogenic sources. The growth of droplets on anthropogenic size-selected particles centred at 0.1 μm diameter and composed of approximately 40% organic and 60% ammonium sulphate (AS) by mass, was delayed on the order of 1 second compared to a pure AS aerosol. Simulations of the growth rate indicate that a lowering of the water mass accommodation coefficient from αc=1 to an average of αc=0.044 is needed (assuming an insoluble organic with hygroscopicity parameter, κorg, of zero). In contrast, the growth rate of the aerosol of biogenic character, consisting of >80% organic, was similar to that of pure AS. Simulations of the predominantly biogenic aerosol show agreement between the observations and simulations when κorg=0.05–0.2 and αc=1. Inhibition of water uptake by the anthropogenic organic applied to an adiabatic cloud parcel model in the form of a constant low αc increases the number of droplets in a cloud compared to pure AS. If the αc is assumed to increase with increasing liquid water on the droplets, then the number of droplets decreases which could diminish the indirect effect. The slightly lower κorg in the biogenic case decreases the number of droplets in a cloud compared to pure AS.