Articles | Volume 14, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 11711–11729, 2014

Special issue: The Pan European Gas-Aerosols Climate Interaction Study...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 11711–11729, 2014

Research article 07 Nov 2014

Research article | 07 Nov 2014

Analysis of nucleation events in the European boundary layer using the regional aerosol–climate model REMO-HAM with a solar radiation-driven OH-proxy

J.-P. Pietikäinen1, S. Mikkonen2, A. Hamed2,†, A. I. Hienola1, W. Birmili3, M. Kulmala4, and A. Laaksonen2,1 J.-P. Pietikäinen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, P. O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, P. O. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
  • 3Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (IfT), Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 4Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 44, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • deceased in September 2013

Abstract. This work describes improvements in the regional aerosol–climate model REMO-HAM in order to simulate more realistically the process of atmospheric new particle formation (NPF). A new scheme was implemented to simulate OH radical concentrations using a proxy approach based on observations and also accounting for the effects of clouds upon OH concentrations. Second, the nucleation rate calculation was modified to directly simulate the formation rates of 3 nm particles, which removes some unnecessary steps in the formation rate calculations used earlier in the model. Using the updated model version, NPF over Europe was simulated for the periods 2003–2004 and 2008–2009. The statistics of the simulated particle formation events were subsequently compared to observations from 13 ground-based measurement sites. The new model shows improved agreement with the observed NPF rates compared to former versions and can simulate the event statistics realistically for most parts of Europe.

Final-revised paper