Articles | Volume 6, issue 7
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 2017–2038, 2006
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 2017–2038, 2006

  09 Jun 2006

09 Jun 2006

Critical assessment of the current state of scientific knowledge, terminology, and research needs concerning the role of organic aerosols in the atmosphere, climate, and global change

S. Fuzzi1, M. O. Andreae2, B. J. Huebert3, M. Kulmala4, T. C. Bond5, M. Boy4, S. J. Doherty6, A. Guenther7, M. Kanakidou8, K. Kawamura9, V.-M. Kerminen10, U. Lohmann11, L. M. Russell12, and U. Pöschl2,13 S. Fuzzi et al.
  • 1Istituto di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 40129 Bologna, Italy
  • 2Biogeochemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 3Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
  • 4Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
  • 6IGAC Core Project Office, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
  • 7Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, USA
  • 8Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 71409 Heraklion, Greece
  • 9Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0819, Japan USA
  • 10Finnish Meteorological Institute, 00810 Helsinki, Finland
  • 11ETH, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland Germany
  • 12Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, La Jolla, CA 92093-0221, USA
  • 13Institute of Hydrochemistry, Technical University of Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany

Abstract. In spite of impressive advances in recent years, our present understanding of organic aerosol (OA) composition, physical and chemical properties, sources and transformation characteristics is still rather limited, and their environmental effects remain highly uncertain. This paper discusses and prioritizes issues related to organic aerosols and their effects on atmospheric processes and climate, providing a basis for future activities in the field. Four main topical areas are addressed: i) sources of OA; ii) formation transformation and removal of OA; iii) physical, chemical and mixing state of OA; iv) atmospheric modelling of OA. Key questions and research priorities regarding these four areas are synthesized in this paper, and outstanding issues for future research are presented for each topical area. In addition, an effort is made to formulate a basic set of consistent and universally applicable terms and definitions for coherent description of atmospheric OA across different scales and disciplines.

Final-revised paper