Articles | Volume 15, issue 23
Research article
15 Dec 2015
Research article |  | 15 Dec 2015

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

J. Zábori, N. Rastak, Y. J. Yoon, I. Riipinen, and J. Ström

Abstract. 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.

Final-revised paper