Can semi-volatile organic aerosols lead to fewer cloud particles?

Gao, Chloe Y.; Bauer, Susanne E.; Tsigaridis, Kostas

The impact of condensing organic aerosols on activated cloud number concentration is examined in a new aerosol microphysics box model, MATRIX-VBS. The model includes the volatility basis set (VBS) framework coupled with the aerosol microphysical scheme MATRIX (Multiconfiguration Aerosol TRacker of mIXing state) that resolves aerosol mass and number concentrations and aerosol mixing state. By including the condensation of organic aerosols, the new model produces fewer activated particles compared to the original model, which treats organic aerosols as nonvolatile. Parameters such as aerosol chemical composition, mass and number concentrations, and particle sizes that affect activated cloud number concentration are thoroughly tested via a suite of Monte Carlo simulations. Results show that by considering semi-volatile organics in MATRIX-VBS, there is a lower activated particle number concentration, except in cases with low cloud updrafts, in clean environments at above-freezing temperatures, and in polluted environments at high temperatures (310‚ÄČK) and extremely low-humidity conditions.

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Gao, Chloe Y. / Bauer, Susanne E. / Tsigaridis, Kostas: Can semi-volatile organic aerosols lead to fewer cloud particles?. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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