LOAC: a small aerosol optical counter/sizer for ground-based and balloon measurements of the size distribution and nature of atmospheric particles – Part 1: Principle of measurements and instrument evaluation

| Atmos. Meas. Tech. | 9 (1721-1742)

The study of aerosols in the troposphere and in the stratosphere is of major importance both for climate and air quality studies. Among the numerous instruments available, optical aerosol particles counters (OPCs) provide the size distribution in diameter range from about 100 nm to a few tens of µm. Most of them are very sensitive to the nature of aerosols, and this can result in significant biases in the retrieved size distribution. We describe here a new versatile optical particle/sizer counter named LOAC (Light Optical Aerosol Counter), which is light and compact enough to perform measurements not only at the surface but under all kinds of balloons in the troposphere and in the stratosphere. LOAC is an original OPC performing observations at two scattering angles. The first one is around 12°, and is almost insensitive to the refractive index of the particles; the second one is around 60° and is strongly sensitive to the refractive index of the particles. By combining measurement at the two angles, it is possible to retrieve the size distribution between 0.2 and 100 µm and to estimate the nature of the dominant particles (droplets, carbonaceous, salts and mineral particles) when the aerosol is relatively homogeneous. This typology is based on calibration charts obtained in the laboratory. The uncertainty for total concentrations measurements is ±20 % when concentrations are higher than 1 particle cm−3 (for a 10 min integration time). For lower concentrations, the uncertainty is up to about ±60 % for concentrations smaller than 10−2 particle cm−3. Also, the uncertainties in size calibration are ±0.025 µm for particles smaller than 0.6 µm, 5 % for particles in the 0.7–2 µm range, and 10 % for particles greater than 2 µm. The measurement accuracy of submicronic particles could be reduced in a strongly turbid case when concentration of particles > 3 µm exceeds a few particles  cm−3. Several campaigns of cross-comparison of LOAC with other particle counting instruments and remote sensing photometers have been conducted to validate both the size distribution derived by LOAC and the retrieved particle number density. The typology of the aerosols has been validated in well-defined conditions including urban pollution, desert dust episodes, sea spray, fog, and cloud. Comparison with reference aerosol mass monitoring instruments also shows that the LOAC measurements can be successfully converted to mass concentrations.

Inflammatory markers and exposure to airborne particles among workers in a Swedish pulp and paper mill

| Int Arch Occup Environ Health | Online First
C-reactive protein (CRP) , Fibrinogen , Interleukins (IL-1b IL-6 IL-8 and IL-10) , pm10 , pm2.5 , Respirable dust , Serum amyloid A (SAA)

To study the relationship between exposure to airborne particles in a pulp and paper mill and markers of inflammation and coagulation in blood.
Personal sampling of inhalable dust was performed for 72 subjects working in a Swedish pulp and paper mill. Stationary measurements were used to study concentrations of total dust, respirable dust, PM10 and PM2.5, the particle surface area and the particle number concentrations. Markers of inflammation, interleukins (IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), and fibrinogen and markers of coagulation factor VIII, von Willebrand, plasminogen activator inhibitor, and D-dimer were measured in plasma or serum. Sampling was performed on the last day of the work free period of 5 days, before and after the shift the first day of work and after the shifts the second and third day. In a mixed model analysis, the relationship between particulate exposures and inflammatory markers was determined. Sex, age, smoking, and BMI were included as covariates.
The average 8-h time-weighted average (TWA) air concentration levels of inhalable dust were 0.30 mg/m3, range 0.005–3.3 mg/m3. The proxies for average 8-h TWAs of respirable dust were 0.045 mg/m3. Significant and consistent positive relations were found between several exposure metrics (PM 10, total and inhalable dust) and CRP, SAA and fibrinogen taken post-shift, suggesting a dose–effect relationship.
This study supports a relationship between occupational particle exposure and established inflammatory markers, which may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Substitution of long chain fluorinated copolymers for durable water repellent (DWR) textile modification

| Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)

SETAC Europe, 25th Annual Meeting | March 22, 2023 | Barcelona, Spain

The importance of temporal collocation for the evaluation of aerosol models with observations

| Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 16 (2) (1065-1079)

It is often implicitly assumed that over suitably long periods the mean of observations and models should be comparable, even if they have different temporal sampling. We assess the errors incurred due to ignoring temporal sampling and show that they are of similar magnitude as (but smaller than) actual model errors (20–60 %).

Using temporal sampling from remote-sensing data sets, the satellite imager MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and the ground-based sun photometer network AERONET (AErosol Robotic NETwork), and three different global aerosol models, we compare annual and monthly averages of full model data to sampled model data. Our results show that sampling errors as large as 100 % in AOT (aerosol optical thickness), 0.4 in AE (Ångström Exponent) and 0.05 in SSA (single scattering albedo) are possible. Even in daily averages, sampling errors can be significant. Moreover these sampling errors are often correlated over long distances giving rise to artificial contrasts between pristine and polluted events and regions. Additionally, we provide evidence that suggests that models will underestimate these errors. To prevent sampling errors, model data should be temporally collocated to the observations before any analysis is made.

We also discuss how this work has consequences for in situ measurements (e.g. aircraft campaigns or surface measurements) in model evaluation.

Although this study is framed in the context of model evaluation, it has a clear and direct relevance to climatologies derived from observational data sets.

Amplification of Arctic warming by past air pollution reductions in Europe

| Nat. Geosci. | Advance online publication
atmospheric chemistry , atmospheric dynamics , attribution , climate and earth system modelling

The Arctic region is warming considerably faster than the rest of the globe1, with important consequences for the ecosystems2 and human exploration of the region3. However, the reasons behind this Arctic amplification are not entirely clear4. As a result of measures to enhance air quality, anthropogenic emissions of particulate matter and its precursors have drastically decreased in parts of the Northern Hemisphere over the past three decades5. Here we present simulations with an Earth system model with comprehensive aerosol physics and chemistry that show that the sulfate aerosol reductions in Europe since 1980 can potentially explain a significant fraction of Arctic warming over that period. Specifically, the Arctic region receives an additional 0.3 W m−2 of energy, and warms by 0.5 °C on annual average in simulations with declining European sulfur emissions in line with historical observations, compared with a model simulation with fixed European emissions at 1980 levels. Arctic warming is amplified mainly in fall and winter, but the warming is initiated in summer by an increase in incoming solar radiation as well as an enhanced poleward oceanic and atmospheric heat transport. The simulated summertime energy surplus reduces sea-ice cover, which leads to a transfer of heat from the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere. We conclude that air quality regulations in the Northern Hemisphere, the ocean and atmospheric circulation, and Arctic climate are inherently linked.

An innovative integrated system of models and databases in support to the prioritisation of emerging contaminants on a European scale

| Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)

SETAC Europe, 25th Annual Meeting | March 22, 2023 | Barcelona, Spain

The significance of land-atmosphere interactions in the Earth system—iLEAPS achievements and perspectives

| Antropocene | In press

The integrated land ecosystem-atmosphere processes study (iLEAPS) is an international research project focussing on the fundamental processes that link land-atmosphere exchange, climate, the water cycle, and tropospheric chemistry. The project, iLEAPS, was established 2004 within the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). During its first decade, iLEAPS has proven to be a vital project, well equipped to build a community to address the challenges involved in understanding the complex Earth system: multidisciplinary, integrative approaches for both observations and modeling. The iLEAPS community has made major advances in process understanding, land-surface modeling, and observation techniques and networks. The modes of iLEAPS operation include elucidating specific iLEAPS scientific questions through networks of process studies, field campaigns, modeling, long-term integrated field studies, international interdisciplinary mega-campaigns, synthesis studies, databases, as well as conferences on specific scientific questions and synthesis meetings. Another essential component of iLEAPS is knowledge transfer and it also encourages community- and policy-related outreach activities associated with the regional integrative projects. As a result of its first decade of work, iLEAPS is now setting the agenda for its next phase (2014–2024) under the new international initiative, future Earth. Human influence has always been an important part of land-atmosphere science but in order to respond to the new challenges of global sustainability, closer ties with social science and economics groups will be necessary to produce realistic estimates of land use and anthropogenic emissions by analysing future population increase, migration patterns, food production allocation, land management practices, energy production, industrial development, and urbanization.

Erratum to ‘Biomagnification of Organic Pollutants in Benthic and Pelagic Marine Food Chains from the Baltic Sea.’

| Sci. Total Environ. | 407 (21) (5803-5804)

Estimating the major sources of PFOS and PFOA to the Danube River catchment

| Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)

SETAC Europe, 25th Annual Meeting | March 22, 2023 | Barcelona, Spain

Size-resolved cloud condensation nuclei concentration measurements in the Arctic: two case studies from the summer of 2008

| Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 15 (13803-13817)

The Arctic is one of the most vulnerable regions affected by climate change. Extensive measurement data are needed to understand the atmospheric processes governing this vulnerability. Among these, data describing cloud formation potential are of particular interest, since the indirect effect of aerosols on the climate system is still poorly understood. In this paper we present, for the first time, size-resolved cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) data obtained in the Arctic. The measurements were conducted during two periods in the summer of 2008: one in June and one in August, at the Zeppelin research station (78°54´ N, 11°53´ E) in Svalbard. Trajectory analysis indicates that during the measurement period in June 2008, air masses predominantly originated from the Arctic, whereas the measurements from August 2008 were influenced by mid-latitude air masses. CCN supersaturation (SS) spectra obtained on the 27 June, before size-resolved measurements were begun, and spectra from the 21 and 24 August, conducted before and after the measurement period, revealed similarities between the 2 months. From the ratio between CCN concentration and the total particle number concentration (CN) as a function of dry particle diameter (Dp) at a SS of 0.4 %, the activation diameter (D50), corresponding to CCN / CN = 0.50, was estimated. D50 was found to be 60 and 67 nm for the examined periods in June and August 2008, respectively. Corresponding D50 hygroscopicity parameter (κ) values were estimated to be 0.4 and 0.3 for June and August 2008, respectively. These values can be compared to hygroscopicity values estimated from bulk chemical composition, where κ was calculated to be 0.5 for both June and August 2008. While the agreement between the 2 months is reasonable, the difference in κ between the different methods indicates a size dependence in the particle composition, which is likely explained by a higher fraction of inorganics in the bulk aerosol samples.

Contact information

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Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

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Stella Papadopoulou
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