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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Variations in Ncn and Nccn over China marginal seas related to marine traffic emissions, new particle formation and aerosol aging

Yang Gao1,2,, Deqiang Zhang1,, Juntao Wang1, Huiwang Gao1,2, and Xiaohong Yao1,2 Yang Gao et al.
  • 1Frontiers Science Center for Deep Ocean Multispheres and Earth System, and Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, 266100, China
  • 2Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266237, China
  • Authors contributed equally to this study.

Abstract. In this study, a cruise campaign was conducted over China marginal seas to measure concentrations of condensation nuclei (Ncn), cloud condensation nuclei (Nccn) and other pollutants during DOY 110 to DOY 135 of 2018. With exhaustedly excluded self-ship emission signals, the mean values of Nccn during the cruise campaign slightly increased from 3.2 ± 1.1 × 103 cm−3 (mean ± standard) at supersaturation (SS) of 0.2 % to 3.9 ± 1.4 × 103 cm−3 at SS of 1.0 %, and the mean value for Ncn was 8.1 ± 4.4 × 103 cm−3. Data analysis showed that marine traffic emissions apparently yielded a large contribution to the increase of Ncn in daytime, especially in marine atmospheres over their heavily travelled sea zones; however, the fresh sources had no clear contribution to the increase of Nccn. This finding was supported by the quantitative relations between Ncn and Nccn at SS = 0.2–1.0 % against mixing ratios of SO2 in self-ship emission plumes, i.e., 1 ppb increase in SO2 corresponds to 1.4 × 104 cm−3 increase in Ncn, but only 30–170 cm−3 increase in Nccn possibly because of abundant organics in the aerosols. The smooth growth of marine traffic derived particles can be observed, reflecting aerosol aging. The estimated hygroscopicity parameter (κ) values were generally as high as 0.46–0.55 under the dominant onshore winds, suggesting inorganic ammonium aerosols likely acting as the major contributor to Nccn through aerosol aging processes largely decomposed organics. Moreover, the influences of the transported new particles from the continent on Ncn and Nccn in the marine atmosphere were also investigated.

Yang Gao et al.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Through the cruise campaign conducted over China marginal seas, we found that the concentrations of condensation nuclei (Ncn) and cloud condensation nuclei (Nccn) were one order of magnitude larger than those in remote clear marine atmospheres, indicating overwhelming contributions from marine traffic emissions and long-range continental transport. Moreover, we derived a relationship between SO2 and Ncn and Nccn, which is useful as an indicator to estimate the Ncn and Nccn when SO2 is available.
Through the cruise campaign conducted over China marginal seas, we found that the concentrations...