Seasonal variation of aerosol water uptake and its impact on the direct radiative effect at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard

Rastak, N; Silvergren, S; Zieger, P; Wideqvist, U; Strom, J; Svenningsson, B; Maturilli, M; Tesche, M; Ekman, AML; Tunved, P; Riipinen, I
2014 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 14 (14) (7445-7460)

In this study we investigated the impact of water uptake by aerosol particles in ambient atmosphere on their optical properties and their direct radiative effect (ADRE, W m(-2)) in the Arctic at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, during 2008. To achieve this, we combined three models, a hygroscopic growth model, a Mie model and a radiative transfer model, with an extensive set of observational data. We found that the seasonal variation of dry aerosol scattering coefficients showed minimum values during the summer season and the beginning of fall (July-August-September), when small particles (< 100 nm in diameter) dominate the aerosol number size distribution. The maximum scattering by dry particles was observed during the Arctic haze period (March-April-May) when the average size of the particles was larger. Considering the hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles in the ambient atmosphere had a significant impact on the aerosol scattering coefficients: the aerosol scattering coefficients were enhanced by on average a factor of 4.30 +/- 2.26 (mean +/- standard deviation), with lower values during the haze period (March-April-May) as compared to summer and fall. Hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles was found to cause 1.6 to 3.7 times more negative ADRE at the surface, with the smallest effect during the haze period (March-April-May) and the highest during late summer and beginning of fall (July-August-September).

Investigation of the Planetary Boundary Layer in the Swiss Alps Using Remote Sensing and In Situ Measurements

Ketterer, C; Zieger, P; Bukowiecki, N; Collaud Coen, M; Maier, O; Ruffieux, D; Weingartner, E
2014 | Boundary-Layer Meteorology (1-18)
boundary layer , ceilometer , complex topography , in situ measurements , jungfraujoch , remote sensing , switzerland , wind profiler

"The development of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) has been studied in a complex terrain using various remote sensing and in situ techniques. The high-altitude research station at Jungfraujoch (3,580 m a.s.l.) in the Swiss Alps lies for most of the time in the free troposphere except when it is influenced by the PBL reaching the station, especially during the summer season. A ceilometer and a wind profiler were installed at Kleine Scheidegg, a mountain pass close to Jungfraujoch, located at an altitude of 2,061 m a.s.l. Data from the ceilometer were analyzed using two different algorithms, while the signal-to-noise ratio of the wind profiler was studied to compare the retrieved PBL heights. The retrieved values from the ceilometer and wind profiler agreed well during daytime and cloud-free conditions. The results were additionally compared with the PBL height estimated by the numerical weather prediction model COSMO-2, which showed a clear underestimation of the PBL height for most of the cases but occasionally also a slight overestimation especially around noon, when the PBL showed its maximum extent. Air parcels were transported upwards by slope winds towards Jungfraujoch when the PBL was higher than 2,800 m a.s.l. during cloud-free cases. This was confirmed by the in situ aerosol measurements at Jungfraujoch with a significant increase in particle number concentration, particle light absorption and scattering coefficients when PBL-influenced air masses reached the station in the afternoon hours. The continuous aerosol in situ measurements at Jungfraujoch were clearly influenced by the local PBL development but also by long-range transport phenomena such as Saharan dust or pollution from the south."

Modeling Aerosol Water Uptake in The Arctic Based on The kappa-Kohler Theory

Rastak, N; Ekman, A; Silvergren, S; Zieger, P; Wideqvist, U; Strom, J; Svenningsson, B; Tunved, P; Riipinen, I

Effects of relative humidity on aerosol light scattering: results from different European sites

Zieger, P. ; Fierz-Schmidhauser, R.; Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger U.
2013 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 13 (10609-10631)

The effect of aerosol water uptake on the aerosol particle light scattering coefficient is described in this study by comparing measurements from five European sites: the Jungfraujoch, located in the Swiss Alps at 3580 m a.s.l.; Ny-Ålesund, located on Spitsbergen in the Arctic; Mace Head, a coastal site in Ireland; Cabauw, a rural site in the Netherlands; and Melpitz, a regional background site in Eastern Germany. These sites were selected according to the aerosol type usually encountered at that location. The scattering enhancement factor f(RH) is the key parameter to describe the effect of water uptake on the particle light scattering. It is defined as the scattering coefficient at a certain relative humidity (RH) and wavelength; divided by its dry value. f(RH) at the five sites varied widely, starting at very low values of f(RH = 85%, 550 nm) around 1.28 for mineral dust, and reaching up to 3.41 for Arctic aerosol. Hysteresis behavior was observed at all sites except at the Jungfraujoch (due to the absence of sea salt). Closure studies and Mie simulations showed that both size and chemical composition determine the magnitude of f(RH). Both parameters are also needed to successfully predict f(RH). Finally, the measurement results were compared to the widely used aerosol model, OPAC (Hess et al., 1998). Significant discrepancies were seen, especially at intermediate RH ranges; these were mainly attributed to inappropriate implementation of hygroscopic growth in the OPAC model. Replacement of the hygroscopic growth with values from the recent literature resulted in a clear improvement of the OPAC model.

Evaluating the capabilities and uncertainties of droplet measurements for the fog droplet spectrometer (FM-100)

Spiegel, JK; Zieger, P; Bukowiecki, N; Hammer, E; Weingartner, E; Eugster, W
2012 | Atmos. Meas. Tech. | 5 (9) (2237-2260)

Droplet size spectra measurements are crucial to obtain a quantitative microphysical description of clouds and fog. However, cloud droplet size measurements are subject to various uncertainties. This work focuses on the error analysis of two key measurement uncertainties arising during cloud droplet size measurements with a conventional droplet size spectrometer (FM-100): first, we addressed the precision with which droplets can be sized with the FM-100 on the basis of the Mie theory. We deduced error assumptions and proposed a new method on how to correct measured size distributions for these errors by redistributing the measured droplet size distribution using a stochastic approach. Second, based on a literature study, we summarized corrections for particle losses during sampling with the FM-100. We applied both corrections to cloud droplet size spectra measured at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch for a temperature range from 0 degrees C to 11 degrees C. We showed that Mie scattering led to spikes in the droplet size distributions using the default sizing procedure, while the new stochastic approach reproduced the ambient size distribution adequately. A detailed analysis of the FM-100 sampling efficiency revealed that particle losses were typically below 10% for droplet diameters up to 10 mu m. For larger droplets, particle losses can increase up to 90% for the largest droplets of 50 aem at ambient wind speeds below 4.4 m s(-1) and even to > 90% for larger angles between the instrument orientation and the wind vector (sampling angle) at higher wind speeds. Comparisons of the FM-100 to other reference instruments revealed that the total liquid water content (LWC) measured by the FM-100 was more sensitive to particle losses than to re-sizing based on Mie scattering, while the total number concentration was only marginally influenced by particle losses. Consequently, for further LWC measurements with the FM-100 we strongly recommend to consider (1) the error arising due to Mie scattering, and (2) the particle losses, especially for larger droplets depending on the set-up and wind conditions.

Spatial variation of aerosol optical properties around the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.)

Zieger, P; Kienast-Sjogren, E; Starace, M; von Bismarck, J; Bukowiecki, N; Baltensperger, U; Wienhold, FG; Peter, T; Ruhtz, T; Coen, MC; Vuilleumier, L; Maier, O; Emili, E; Popp, C; Weingartner, E
2012 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 12 (15) (7231-7249)

This paper presents results of the extensive field campaign CLACE 2010 (Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment) performed in summer 2010 at the Jungfraujoch (JFJ) and the Kleine Scheidegg (KLS) in the Swiss Alps. The main goal of this campaign was to investigate the vertical variability of aerosol optical properties around the JFJ and to show the consistency of the different employed measurement techniques considering explicitly the effects of relative humidity (RH) on the aerosol light scattering. Various aerosol optical and microphysical parameters were recorded using in-situ and remote sensing techniques. In-situ measurements of aerosol size distribution, light scattering, light absorption and scattering enhancement due to water uptake were performed at the JFJ at 3580 m a.s.l.. A unique set-up allowed remote sensing measurements of aerosol columnar and vertical properties from the KLS located about 1500 m below and within the line of sight to the JFJ (horizontal distance of approx. 4.5 km). In addition, two satellite retrievals from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) as well as back trajectory analyses were added to the comparison to account for a wider geographical context. All in-situ and remote sensing measurements were in clear correspondence. The ambient extinction coefficient measured in situ at the JFJ agreed well with the KLS-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) retrieval at the altitude-level of the JFJ under plausible assumptions on the LIDAR ratio. However, we can show that the quality of this comparison is affected by orographic effects due to the exposed location of the JFJ on a saddle between two mountains and next to a large glacier. The local RH around the JFJ was often higher than in the optical path of the LIDAR measurement, especially when the wind originated from the south via the glacier, leading to orographic clouds which remained lower than the LIDAR beam. Furthermore, the dominance of long-range transported Saharan dust was observed in all measurements for several days, however only for a shorter time period in the in-situ measurements due to the vertical structure of the dust plume. The optical properties of the aerosol column retrieved from SEVIRI and MODIS showed the same magnitude and a similar temporal evolution as the measurements at the KLS and the JFJ. Remaining differences are attributed to the complex terrain and simplifications in the aerosol retrieval scheme in general.

Sensitivity of the Single Particle Soot Photometer to different black carbon types

Laborde, M; Mertes, P; Zieger, P; Dommen, J; Baltensperger, U; Gysel, M
2012 | Atmos. Meas. Tech. | 5 (5) (1031-1043)

Black carbon (BC) is now mainly of anthropogenic origin. It is the dominant light absorbing component of atmospheric aerosols, playing an important role in the earth's radiative balance and therefore relevant to climate change studies. In addition, BC is known to be harmful to human beings making it relevant to policy makers. Nevertheless, the measurement of BC remains biased by the instrument-based definition of BC. The Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2), allows the measurement of the refractory BC (rBC) mass of individual particles using laser-induced incandescence. However, the SP2 needs an empirical calibration to retrieve the rBC mass from the incandescence signal and the sensitivity of the SP2 differs between different BC types. Ideally, for atmospheric studies, the SP2 should be calibrated using ambient particles containing a known mass of ambient rBC. However, such 'ambient BC' calibration particles cannot easily be obtained and thus commercially available BC particles are commonly used for SP2 calibration instead. In this study we tested the sensitivity of the SP2 to different BC types in order to characterize the potential error introduced by using non-ambient BC for calibration. The sensitivity of the SP2 was determined, using an aerosol particle mass analyzer, for rBC from thermodenuded diesel exhaust, wood burning exhaust and ambient particles as well as for commercially available products: Aquadag(A (R)) and fullerene soot. Thermodenuded, fresh diesel exhaust has been found to be ideal for SP2 calibration for two reasons. First, the small amount of non-BC matter upon emission reduces the risk of bias due to incomplete removal of non-BC matter and second, it is considered to represent atmospheric rBC in urban locations where diesel exhaust is the main source of BC. The SP2 was found to be up to 16% less sensitive to rBC from thermodenuded ambient particles (< 15 fg) than rBC from diesel exhaust, however, at least part of this difference can be explained by incomplete removal of non-refractory components in the thermodenuder. The amount of remaining non-refractory matter was estimated to be below 30% by mass, according to a comparison of the scattering cross sections of the whole particles with that of the pure BC cores. The SP2 sensitivity to rBC from wood burning exhaust agrees with the SP2 sensitivity to rBC from diesel exhaust within an error of less than 14% (< 40 fg). If, due to experimental restrictions, diesel exhaust cannot be used, untreated fullerene soot was found to give an SP2 calibration curve similar to diesel exhaust and ambient rBC (within +/- 10% for a rBC mass < 15 fg) and is therefore recommended although two different batches differed by similar to 14% between themselves. In addition, the SP2 was found to be up to 40% more sensitive to Aquadag(A (R)) than to diesel exhaust rBC. Therefore Aquadag(A (R)) cannot be recommended for atmospheric application without accounting for the sensitivity difference. These findings for fullerene soot and Aquadag(A (R)) confirm results from previous literature.

The Cabauw Intercomparison campaign for Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI): design, execution, and early results

Piters, AJM; Boersma, KF; Kroon, M; Hains, JC; Van Roozendael, M; Wittrock, F; Abuhassan, N; Adams, C; Akrami, M; Allaart, MAF; Apituley, A; Beirle, S; Bergwerff, JB; Berkhout, AJC; Brunner, D; Cede, A; Chong, J; Clemer, K; Fayt, C; Friess, U; Gast, LFL; Gil-Ojeda, M; Goutail, F; Graves, R; Griesfeller, A; Grossmann, K; Hemerijckx, G; Hendrick, F; Henzing, B; Herman, J; Hermans, C; Hoexum, M; van der Hoff, GR; Irie, H; Johnston, PV; Kanaya, Y; Kim, YJ; Baltink, HK; Kreher, K; de Leeuw, G; Leigh, R; Merlaud, A; Moerman, MM; Monks, PS; Mount, GH; Navarro-Comas, M; Oetjen, H; Pazmino, A; Perez-Camacho, M; Peters, E; du Piesanie, A; Pinardi, G; Puentedura, O; Richter, A; Roscoe, HK; Schonhardt, A; Schwarzenbach, B; Shaiganfar, R; Sluis, W; Spinei, E; Stolk, AP; Strong, K; Swart, DPJ; Takashima, H; Vlemmix, T; Vrekoussis, M; Wagner, T; Whyte, C; Wilson, KM; Yela, M; Yilmaz, S; Zieger, P; Zhou, Y
2012 | Atmos. Meas. Tech. | 5 (2) (457-485)

From June to July 2009 more than thirty different in-situ and remote sensing instruments from all over the world participated in the Cabauw Intercomparison campaign for Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI). The campaign took place at KNMI's Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR) in the Netherlands. Its main objectives were to determine the accuracy of state-of-the-art ground-based measurement techniques for the detection of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide (both in-situ and remote sensing), and to investigate their usability in satellite data validation. The expected outcomes are recommendations regarding the operation and calibration of such instruments, retrieval settings, and observation strategies for the use in ground-based networks for air quality monitoring and satellite data validation. Twenty-four optical spectrometers participated in the campaign, of which twenty-one had the capability to scan different elevation angles consecutively, the so-called Multi-axis DOAS systems, thereby collecting vertical profile information, in particular for nitrogen dioxide and aerosol. Various in-situ samplers and lidar instruments simultaneously characterized the variability of atmospheric trace gases and the physical properties of aerosol particles. A large data set of continuous measurements of these atmospheric constituents has been collected under various meteorological conditions and air pollution levels. Together with the permanent measurement capability at the CESAR site characterizing the meteorological state of the atmosphere, the CINDI campaign provided a comprehensive observational data set of atmospheric constituents in a highly polluted region of the world during summertime. First detailed comparisons performed with the CINDI data show that slant column measurements of NO2, O-4 and HCHO with MAX-DOAS agree within 5 to 15 %, vertical profiles of NO2 derived from several independent instruments agree within 25% of one another, and MAX-DOAS aerosol optical thickness agrees within 20-30% with AERONET data. For the in-situ NO2 instrument using a molybdenum converter, a bias was found as large as 5 ppbv during day time, when compared to the other in-situ instruments using photolytic converters.

Comparison of ambient aerosol extinction coefficients obtained from in-situ, MAX-DOAS and LIDAR measurements at Cabauw

Zieger, P; Weingartner, E; Henzing, J; Moerman, M; de Leeuw, G; Mikkila, J; Ehn, M; Petaja, T; Clemer, K; van Roozendael, M; Yilmaz, S; Friess, U; Irie, H; Wagner, T; Shaiganfar, R; Beirle, S; Apituley, A; Wilson, K; Baltensperger, U
2011 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 11 (6) (2603-2624)

In the field, aerosol in-situ measurements are often performed under dry conditions (relative humidity RH < 30-40%). Since ambient aerosol particles experience hygroscopic growth at enhanced RH, their microphysical and optical properties - especially the aerosol light scattering are also strongly dependent on RH. The knowledge of this RH effect is of crucial importance for climate forcing calculations or for the comparison of remote sensing with in-situ measurements. Here, we will present results from a four-month campaign which took place in summer 2009 in Cabauw, The Netherlands. The aerosol scattering coefficient sigma(sp)(lambda) was measured dry and at various, predefined RH conditions between 20 and 95% with a humidified nephelometer. The scattering enhancement factor f (RH,lambda) is the key parameter to describe the effect of RH on sigma(sp)(lambda) and is defined as sigma(sp)(RH,lambda) measured at a certain RH divided by the dry sigma(sp)(dry,lambda). The measurement of f (RH,lambda) together with the dry absorption measurement (assumed not to change with RH) allows the determination of the actual extinction coefficient sigma(ep)(RH,lambda) at ambient RH. In addition, a wide range of other aerosol properties were measured in parallel. The measurements were used to characterize the effects of RH on the aerosol optical properties. A closure study showed the consistency of the aerosol in-situ measurements. Due to the large variability of air mass origin (and thus aerosol composition) a simple parameterization of f (RH,lambda) could not be established. If f (RH,lambda) needs to be predicted, the chemical composition and size distribution need to be known. Measurements of four MAX-DOAS (multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy) instruments were used to retrieve vertical profiles of sigma(ep)(lambda). The values of the lowest layer were compared to the in-situ values after conversion of the latter ones to ambient RH. The comparison showed a good correlation of R-2 = 0.62-0.78, but the extinction coefficients from MAX-DOAS were a factor of 1.5-3.4 larger than the insitu values. Best agreement is achieved for a few cases characterized by low aerosol optical depths and low planetary boundary layer heights. Differences were shown to be dependent on the applied MAX-DOAS retrieval algorithm. The comparison of the in-situ extinction data to a Raman LIDAR (light detection and ranging) showed a good correlation and higher values measured by the LIDAR (R-2 = 0.82-0.85, slope of 1.69-1.76) if the Raman retrieved profile was used to extrapolate the directly measured extinction coefficient to the ground. The comparison improved if only nighttime measurements were used in the comparison (R-2 = 0.96, slope of 1.12).

Ground-based and airborne in-situ measurements of the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic aerosol plume in Switzerland in spring 2010

Bukowiecki, N; Zieger, P; Weingartner, E; Juranyi, Z; Gysel, M; Neininger, B; Schneider, B; Hueglin, C; Ulrich, A; Wichser, A; Henne, S; Brunner, D; Kaegi, R; Schwikowski, M; Tobler, L; Wienhold, FG; Engel, I; Buchmann, B; Peter, T; Baltensperger, U
2011 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 11 (19) (10011-10030)

The volcanic aerosol plume resulting from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland in April and May 2010 was detected in clear layers above Switzerland during two periods (17-19 April 2010 and 16-19 May 2010). In-situ measurements of the airborne volcanic plume were performed both within ground-based monitoring networks and with a research aircraft up to an altitude of 6000 ma.s.l. The wide range of aerosol and gas phase parameters studied at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch (3580 ma.s.l.) allowed for an in-depth characterization of the detected volcanic aerosol. Both the data from the Jungfraujoch and the aircraft vertical profiles showed a consistent volcanic ash mode in the aerosol volume size distribution with a mean optical diameter around 3 +/- 0.3 mu m. These particles were found to have an average chemical composition very similar to the trachyandesite-like composition of rock samples collected near the volcano. Furthermore, chemical processing of volcanic sulfur dioxide into sulfate clearly contributed to the accumulation mode of the aerosol at the Jungfraujoch. The combination of these in-situ data and plume dispersion modeling results showed that a significant portion of the first volcanic aerosol plume reaching Switzerland on 17 April 2010 did not reach the Jungfraujoch directly, but was first dispersed and diluted in the planetary boundary layer. The maximum PM10 mass concentrations at the Jungfraujoch reached 30 mu g m(-3) and 70 mu g m(-3) (for 10-min mean values) during the April and May episode, respectively. Even low-altitude monitoring stations registered up to 45 mu g m(-3) of volcanic ash related PM10 (Basel, Northwestern Switzerland, 18/19 April 2010). The flights with the research aircraft on 17 April 2010 showed one order of magnitude higher number concentrations over the northern Swiss plateau compared to the Jungfraujoch, and a mass concentration of 320 (200-520) mu g m(-3) on 18 May 2010 over the northwestern Swiss plateau. The presented data significantly contributed to the time-critical assessment of the local ash layer properties during the initial eruption phase. Furthermore, dispersion models benefited from the detailed information on the volcanic aerosol size distribution and its chemical composition.

Light scattering enhancement factors in the marine boundary layer (Mace Head, Ireland)

Fierz-Schmidhauser, R; Zieger, P; Vaishya, A; Monahan, C; Bialek, J; O'Dowd, CD; Jennings, SG; Baltensperger, U; Weingartner, E
2010 | J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. | 115

Direct climate aerosol radiative forcing is influenced by the light scattering of atmospheric aerosols. The chemical composition, the size distribution, and the ambient relative humidity (RH) determine the amount of visible light scattered by aerosols. We measured the aerosol light scattering coefficients at RH varying from 30% to 90% of the marine atmosphere at the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station on the west coast of Ireland. At this site, two major air mass types can be distinguished: clean marine and polluted air. In this paper, we present measurements of light scattering enhancement factors f(RH) = sigma(sp)(RH)/sigma(sp)(dry) from a 1 month field campaign (January-February 2009). At this site in winter, the mean f(RH = 85%) (standard deviation) for marine air masses at the wavelength of 550 nm was 2.22 (+/- 0.17) and 1.77 (+/- 0.31) for polluted air. Measured sigma(sp)(RH) and f(RH) agreed well with calculations from Mie theory using measurements of the size distribution and hygroscopic diameter growth factors as input. In addition, we investigated the RH influence on additional intensive optical properties: the backscatter fraction and the single scattering albedo. The backscatter fraction decreased by about 20%, and the single scattering albedo increased on average by 1%-5% at 85% RH compared to dry conditions.

Measured and predicted aerosol light scattering enhancement factors at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

Fierz-Schmidhauser, R; Zieger, P; Gysel, M; Kammermann, L; DeCarlo, PF; Baltensperger, U; Weingartner, E
2010 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 10 (5) (2319-2333)

Ambient relative humidity (RH) determines the water content of atmospheric aerosol particles and thus has an important influence on the amount of visible light scattered by particles. The RH dependence of the particle light scattering coefficient (Sigma(sp)) is therefore an important variable for climate forcing calculations. We used a humidification system for a nephelometer which allows for the measurement of Sigma(sp) at a defined RH in the range of 20-95%. In this paper we present measurements of light scattering enhancement factors f(RH)=Sigma(sp)(RH)/Sigma(sp)(dry) from a 1-month campaign (May 2008) at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.), Switzerland. Measurements at the Jungfraujoch are representative for the lower free troposphere above Central Europe. For this aerosol type hardly any information about the f(RH) is available so far. At this site, f(RH=85%) varied between 1.2 and 3.3. Measured f(RH) agreed well with f(RH) calculated with Mie theory using measurements of the size distribution, chemical composition and hygroscopic diameter growth factors as input. Good f(RH) predictions at RH < 85% were also obtained with a simplified model, which uses the Angstrom exponent of Sigma(sp)(dry) as input. RH influences further intensive optical aerosol properties. The backscatter fraction decreased by about 30% from 0.128 to 0.089, and the single scattering albedo increased on average by 0.05 at 85% RH compared to dry conditions. These changes in Sigma(sp), backscatter fraction and single scattering albedo have a distinct impact on the radiative forcing of the Jungfraujoch aerosol.

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