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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 03 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

On the seasonal variation of observed size distributions in Northern Europe and their changes with decreasing anthropogenic emissions in Europe: climatology and trend analysis based on 17 years data from Aspvreten, Sweden

Peter Tunved and Johan Ström Peter Tunved and Johan Ström
  • Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. Size resolved aerosol trends were investigate based on a 17-year data set (2000–2017) from the rural background site Aspvreten located in southern Sweden (58.8° N, 17.4° E). Cluster analysis of the size distributions was performed to aid in the interpretation of the data. The results confirm previous findings of decreasing aerosol mass during last decades as a result of reduced anthropogenic emissions in Europe. We show that both particle modal number concentration and size substantially has been reduced during last decades. Negative trends in particle number concentration of about 10 cm−3 y−1 is present for nuclei, Aitken and accumulation modes. In total, integral particle number concentration has decreased by 30 %, from 1860 cm−3 to ca 1300 cm−3. This decrease is similar to observations found at other stations in Northern Europe. The reduction in modal number concentration is accompanied by a decrease in modal size, and this decrease is largest for the accumulation mode (2 nm y−1 or about 17 % for the whole period). These reductions have resulted in a decrease in submicron particle mass (< 390 nm) by more than 50 % over the period 2000–2017.

Although all size classes show a downward trend as annual averages, we also show that observed trends are not evenly distributed over the year, and that a rather complex picture emerges where both sign and magnitude of trends vary with season and size. The strongest negative trends are present during spring (accumulation mode) and autumn (Aitken mode). The strongest positive trends are present during summer months (Aitken mode). The data analyses do not present evidence for an increase in new particle formation formed locally, although some evidence of increased new particle formation some distance away from the receptor is present. Observed aerosol size distribution data, together with an adiabatic cloud parcel model, was further used to estimate the change in cloud droplet concentration for various assumptions of updraft velocities and aerosol chemical composition. The results indicate a substantial increase in the atmospheric brightening effect due to a reduction in cloud reflectivity corresponding to 10–12 % reduction in cloud albedo over the period 2000–2017.

Peter Tunved and Johan Ström
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Peter Tunved and Johan Ström
Data sets

Aerosol number size distribution from rural measurment site Aspvreten (58.8N, 17.4E), 2000–2017 P. Tunved, J. Ström and H. Karlsson

Peter Tunved and Johan Ström
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Short summary
In this study we explore 17 years of aerosol number size distribution data set (10–390 nm) observed at Aspvreten (58.8° N, 17.4° E, 25 m a.s.l.). The station, located in northern Europe, is representative of rural background conditions. The study has mainly focused on identifying trends in aerosol number size distribution properties. The study shows that total number has decreased by on average 30 % and aerosol sub-micron mass by 50 %. Observed trends are highly variable over the year, and particle size.
In this study we explore 17 years of aerosol number size distribution data set (10–390 nm)...