Articles | Volume 11, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 11157–11174, 2011

Special issue: OP3/ACES: Oxidant and particle photochemical processes above...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 11157–11174, 2011

Research article 10 Nov 2011

Research article | 10 Nov 2011

Size-resolved aerosol water uptake and cloud condensation nuclei measurements as measured above a Southeast Asian rainforest during OP3

M. Irwin1,*, N. Robinson1, J. D. Allan1,2, H. Coe1, and G. McFiggans1 M. Irwin et al.
  • 1School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • *now at: Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. The influence of the properties of fine particles on the formation of clouds and precipitation in the tropical atmosphere is of primary importance to their impacts on radiative forcing and the hydrological cycle. Measurements of aerosol number size distribution, hygroscopicity in both sub- and supersaturated regimes and composition were taken between March and July 2008 in the tropical rainforest in Borneo, Malaysia, marking the first study of this type in an Asian tropical rainforest. Hygroscopic growth factors (GF) at 90 % relative humidity (RH) for the dry diameter range D0 = 32–258 nm, supersaturated water uptake behaviour for the dry diameter range D0 = 45–300 nm and aerosol chemical composition were simultaneously measured using a Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyser (HTDMA), a Droplet Measurement Technologies Cloud Condensation Nuclei counter (CCNc) and an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) respectively.

The hygroscopicity parameter κ was derived from both CCNc and HTDMA measurements, with the resulting values of κ ranging from 0.05–0.37, and 0.17–0.37, respectively. Although the total range of κ values is in good agreement, there are inconsistencies between CCNc and HTDMA derived κ values at different dry diameters. Results from a study with similar methodology performed in the Amazon rainforest report values for κ within a similar range to those reported in this work, indicating that the aerosol as measured from both sites shows similar hygroscopic properties. However, the derived number of cloud condensation nuclei (NCCN) were much higher in the present experiment than the Amazon, resulting in part from the increased total particle number concentrations observed in the Bornean rainforest. This contrast between the two environments may be of substantial importance in describing the impacts of particles in the tropical atmosphere.

Final-revised paper