Articles | Volume 13, issue 2
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 895–916, 2013
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 895–916, 2013

Research article 22 Jan 2013

Research article | 22 Jan 2013

Aerosol decadal trends – Part 2: In-situ aerosol particle number concentrations at GAW and ACTRIS stations

A. Asmi1,16, M. Collaud Coen2, J. A. Ogren3, E. Andrews3,4, P. Sheridan3, A. Jefferson3,4, E. Weingartner5, U. Baltensperger5, N. Bukowiecki5, H. Lihavainen6, N. Kivekäs6, E. Asmi6, P. P. Aalto1, M. Kulmala1, A. Wiedensohler7, W. Birmili7, A. Hamed7,8, C. O'Dowd9, S. G Jennings9, R. Weller10, H. Flentje11, A. M. Fjaeraa12, M. Fiebig12, C. L. Myhre12, A. G. Hallar13, E. Swietlicki14, A. Kristensson14, and P. Laj15 A. Asmi et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014, Finland
  • 2Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss, 1530 Payerne, Switzerland
  • 3NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, USA
  • 4Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
  • 5Paul Scherrer Institute, Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
  • 6Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 8Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  • 9School of Physics and Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
  • 10Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 11Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, Albin-Schwaiger-Weg 10, 82383 Hohenpeissenberg, Germany
  • 12NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Instituttveien 18, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
  • 13Desert Research Institute, Storm Peak Laboratory Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Steamboat Springs,USA
  • 14Division of Nuclear Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden
  • 15UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS, LGGE, UMR5183, Grenoble, 38041, France
  • 16Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, CNRS-Université Blaise Pascal, UMR6016, Clermont Ferrand, France

Abstract. We have analysed the trends of total aerosol particle number concentrations (N) measured at long-term measurement stations involved either in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) and/or EU infrastructure project ACTRIS. The sites are located in Europe, North America, Antarctica, and on Pacific Ocean islands. The majority of the sites showed clear decreasing trends both in the full-length time series, and in the intra-site comparison period of 2001–2010, especially during the winter months. Several potential driving processes for the observed trends were studied, and even though there are some similarities between N trends and air temperature changes, the most likely cause of many northern hemisphere trends was found to be decreases in the anthropogenic emissions of primary particles, SO2 or some co-emitted species. We could not find a consistent agreement between the trends of N and particle optical properties in the few stations with long time series of all of these properties. The trends of N and the proxies for cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) were generally consistent in the few European stations where the measurements were available. This work provides a useful comparison analysis for modelling studies of trends in aerosol number concentrations.

Final-revised paper