Articles | Volume 3, issue 3
02 Jun 2003
02 Jun 2003

On the formation of radiation fogs under heavily polluted conditions

H. Kokkola, S. Romakkaniemi, and A. Laaksonen

Abstract. We have studied the effect of gaseous pollutants on fog droplet growth in heavily polluted air using a model that describes time-dependent sulfate production in the liquid phase and thermodynamical equilibrium between the droplets and the gas phase. Our research indicates that the oxidation of SO2 to sulfate has a significant effect on fog droplet growth especially when hygroscopic trace gases, for example HNO3 and NH3 are present. The increased sulfate production by dissolution of hygroscopic gases results from increased pH (caused by absorption of ammonia) and from the increased size of the fog/smog droplets. Our results indicate that unactivated fogs may become optically very thick when the droplet concentrations are on the order of several thousand per cubic centimeter of air.

Final-revised paper