Influence of particle size and chemistry on the cloud nucleating properties of aerosols

Abstract

The ability of an aerosol particle to act as a cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) is a function of the size of the particle, its composition and mixing state, and the supersaturation of the cloud. In-situ data from field studies provide a means to assess the relative importance of these parameters. During the 2006 Texas Air Quality – Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (TexAQSGoMACCS), the NOAA RV Ronald H. Brown encountered a wide variety of aerosol types ranging from marine near the Florida panhandle to urban and industrial in the HoustonGalveston area. These varied sources provided an opportunity to investigate the role of aerosol sources and chemistry in the potential activation of particles to form cloud droplets. Measurements were made of CCN concentrations, aerosol chemical composition in the size range relevant for particle activation in warm clouds, and aerosol size distributions.

- P. K. Quinn1, T. S. Bates1, D. J. Coffman1, and D. S. Covert2

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