Parameterization of ion-induced nucleation rates based on ambient observations
Abstract. Atmospheric ions participate in the formation of new atmospheric aerosol particles, yet their exact role in this process has remained unclear. Here we derive a new simple parameterization for ion-induced nucleation or, more precisely, for the formation rate of charged 2-nm particles. The parameterization is semi-empirical in the sense that it is based on comprehensive results of one-year-long atmospheric cluster and particle measurements in the size range ~1–42 nm within the EUCAARI (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality interactions) project. Data from 12 field sites across Europe measured with different types of air ion and cluster mobility spectrometers were used in our analysis, with more in-depth analysis made using data from four stations with concomitant sulphuric acid measurements. The parameterization is given in two slightly different forms: a more accurate one that requires information on sulfuric acid and nucleating organic vapor concentrations, and a simpler one in which this information is replaced with the global radiation intensity. These new parameterizations are applicable to all large-scale atmospheric models containing size-resolved aerosol microphysics, and a scheme to calculate concentrations of sulphuric acid, condensing organic vapours and cluster ions.