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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-184
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-184
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 23 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Differences in Fine Particle Chemical Composition on Clear and Cloudy Days

Amy E. Christiansen1, Annmarie G. Carlton1, and Barron H. Henderson2 Amy E. Christiansen et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, Universityof California, Irvine,CA92697, USA
  • 2Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

Abstract. Clouds are prevalent and alter fine particulate matter (PM2.5) mass and chemical composition. Cloud-affected satellite retrievals are subject to higher uncertainty and are often removed from data products, hindering quantitative estimates of tropospheric chemical composition during cloudy times. We examine surface PM2.5 chemical constituent concentrations in the Interagency Monitoring of PROtected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network in the United States during Cloudy and Clear Sky times defined using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud flags from 2010-2014 with a focus on differences in particle hygroscopicity and aerosol liquid water (ALW). Cloudy and Clear Sky periods exhibit significant differences in PM2.5 mass and chemical composition that vary regionally and seasonally. In the eastern US, relative humidity alone cannot explain differences in ALW, suggesting emissions and in situ chemistry exert determining impacts. An implicit clear sky bias may hinder efforts to quantitatively understand and improve representation of aerosol-cloud interactions, which remain dominant uncertainties in models.

Amy E. Christiansen et al.

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Amy E. Christiansen et al.

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Latest update: 01 Apr 2020
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Short summary
We quantify differences in surface level fine particle mass (PM2.5) chemical composition in relation to satellite-derived cloud flags. The work suggests future analysis in this area is warranted.
We quantify differences in surface level fine particle mass (PM2.5) chemical composition in...
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