Decennial time trends and diurnal patterns of particle number concentrations in a central European city between 2008 and 2018

Mikkonen, Santtu; Németh, Zoltán; Varga, Veronika; Weidinger, Tamás; Leinonen, Ville; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Salma, Imre

Multiple atmospheric properties were measured semi-continuously in the Budapest platform for Aerosol Research and Training laboratory, which represents the urban background for the time interval of 2008–2018. Data of 6 full measurement years during a decennial time interval were subjected to statistical time trend analyses by an advanced dynamic linear model and a generalized linear mixed model. The main interest in the analysed data set was on particle number concentrations in the diameter ranges from 6 to 1000 nm (inline-formulaN6−1000), from 6 to 100 nm (inline-formulaN6−100, ultrafine particles), from 25 to 100 nm (inline-formulaN25−100) and from 100 to 1000 nm (inline-formulaN100−1000). These data were supported by concentrations of SOinline-formula2, CO, NO, NOinline-formulax, Oinline-formula3, PMinline-formula10 mass, as well as air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, global solar radiation, condensation sink, gas-phase Hinline-formula2SOinline-formula4 proxy, classes of new aerosol particle formation (NPF), and growth events and meteorological macro-circulation patterns. The trend of the particle number concentrations derived as a change in the statistical properties of background state of the data set decreased in all size fractions over the years. Most particle number concentrations showed decreasing decennial statistical trends. The estimated annual mean decline of inline-formulaN6−1000 was (4–5) % during the 10-year measurement interval, which corresponds to a mean absolute change of inline-formula−590 cminline-formula−3 in a year. This was interpreted as a consequence of the decreased anthropogenic emissions at least partly from road traffic alongside household heating and industry. Similar trends were not observed for the air pollutant gases. Diurnal statistical patterns of particle number concentrations showed tendentious variations, which were associated with a typical diurnal activity–time pattern of inhabitants in cities, particularly of vehicular road traffic. The trend patterns for NPF event days contained a huge peak from late morning to late afternoon, which is unambiguously caused by NPF and growth processes. These peaks were rather similar to each other in the position, shape and area on workdays and holidays, which implies that the dynamic and timing properties of NPF events are not substantially influenced by anthropogenic activities in central Budapest. The diurnal pattern for inline-formulaN25−100 exhibited the largest relative changes, which were related to particle emissions from high-temperature sources. The diurnal pattern for inline-formulaN100−1000 – which represents chemically and physically aged particles of larger spatial scale – were different from the diurnal patterns for the other size fractions.

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Mikkonen, Santtu / Németh, Zoltán / Varga, Veronika / et al: Decennial time trends and diurnal patterns of particle number concentrations in a central European city between 2008 and 2018. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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