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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-198
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-198
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Mar 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 Mar 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Characterization of aerosol properties at Cyprus, focusing on cloud condensation nuclei and ice nucleating particles

Xianda Gong1, Heike Wex1, Thomas Müller1, Alfred Wiedensohler1, Kristina Höhler2, Konrad Kandler3, Nan Ma1, Barbara Dietel2, Thea Schiebel2, Ottmar Möhler2, and Frank Stratmann1 Xianda Gong et al.
  • 1Experimental Aerosol and Cloud Microphysics Department, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research – Atmospheric Aerosol Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 3Institute for Applied Geosciences, Technical University Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract. As part of the A-LIFE (Absorbing aerosol layers in a changing climate: aging, lifetime and dynamics) campaign, ground-based measurements were carried out in Paphos, Cyprus, for characterizing the abundance, properties and sources of aerosol particles in general, and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nucleating particles (INP), in particular. New particle formation (NPF) events with subsequent growth of the particles into the CCN size range were observed. Aitken mode particles featured κ values of 0.21 to 0.29, indicating the presence of organic materials. Accumulation mode particles featured a higher hygroscopicity parameter, with a median κ value of 0.57, suggesting the presence of sulfate. A clear downward trend of κ with increasing supersaturation and decreasing dcrit was found. Super-micron particles originated mainly from sea spray aerosol (SSA) and partly from mineral dust.

INP concentrations (NINP) were measured in the temperature range from −6.5 to −26.5 ℃, using two freezing array type instruments. NINP at a particular temperature span around 1 order of magnitude below −20 ℃, and about 2 orders of magnitude at warmer temperatures (T > −18 ℃). Few samples showed elevated concentrations at temperatures > −15 ℃, which suggests a significant contribution of biological particles to the INP population, which possibly could originate from Cyprus. Both measured temperature spectra and NINP probability density functions (PDFs) indicate that the observed INP (ice active in the temperature range between −15 and −20 ℃) mainly originate from long-range transport. There was no correlation between NINP and particle number concentration in the size range > 500 nm (N> 500 nm). Parameterizations based on N> 500 nm were found to overestimate NINP by about 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. There was also no correlation between NINP and particle surface area concentration. The ice active surface site density (ns) for the anthropogenically polluted aerosol encountered in this study is about 1 to 3 orders of magnitude lower than the ns found for dust aerosol particles in previous studies. This suggests that observed NINP-PDFs as those derived here could be a better choice for modelling NINP if the aerosol particle composition is unknown or uncertain.

Xianda Gong et al.
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Interactive discussion
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Xianda Gong et al.
Xianda Gong et al.
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Short summary
For the diverse aerosol on Cyprus, we found the following: New particle formation can be a source of cloud condensation nuclei. Particle hygroscopicity showed that particles ~ < 100 nm contained mostly organic material while larger ones were more hygroscopic. Two separate methods obtained similar concentrations of ice nucleating particles (INP), with mostly no evidence of a local origin. Different parameterizations overestimated INP concentration in this rather polluted region.
For the diverse aerosol on Cyprus, we found the following: New particle formation can be a...
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