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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-155
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-155
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Mar 2020

10 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Sources and sinks driving sulphuric acid concentrations in contrasting environments: implications on proxy calculations

Lubna Dada1,2, Ilona Ylivinkka2,3, Rima Baalbaki2, Chang Li1, Yishou Guo1, Chao Yan1,2, Lei Yao1,2, Nina Sarnela2, Tuija Jokinen2, Kaspar R. Daellenbach2, Rujing Yin4, Chenjuan Deng4, Biwu Chu1,2, Tuomo Nieminen2, Jenni Kontkanen2, Dominik Stolzenburg2, Mikko Sipilä2, Tareq Hussein2, Pauli Paasonen2, Federico Bianchi2, Imre Salma5, Tamás Weidinger6, Michael Pikridas7, Jean Sciare7, Jingkun Jiang4, Yongchun Liu1, Tuukka Petäjä2, Veli-Matti Kerminen2, and Markku Kulmala1,2 Lubna Dada et al.
  • 1Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research INAR/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 3SMEAR II station, University of Helsinki, 35500 Korkeakoski, Finland
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing
  • 5Institute of Chemistry, Eötvös University, 1518 Budapest, P.O. Box 32, Hungary
  • 6Department of Meteorology, Eötvös University, H-1518 Budapest, P.O. Box 32, Hungary
  • 7The Cyprus Institute, Climate & Atmosphere Research Centre (CARE-C), 20 Konstantinou Kavafi Street, 2121, Nicosia, Cyprus

Abstract. Sulphuric acid has been shown to be a key driver for new particle formation and subsequent growth in various environments mainly due to its low volatility. However, direct measurements of gas-phase sulphuric acid are oftentimes not available, and the current sulphuric acid proxies cannot predict for example its nighttime concentrations or result in significant discrepancies with measured values. Here, we define the sources and sinks of sulphuric acid in different environments and derive a new physical proxy for sulphuric acid to be utilized in locations and during periods when it is not measured. We used H2SO4 measurements from four different locations: Hyytiälä, Finland; Agia Marina, Cyprus; Budapest, Hungary; and Beijing, China, representing semi-pristine boreal forest, rural environment in the Mediterranean area, urban environment and heavily polluted megacity, respectively. The new proxy takes into account the formation of sulphuric acid from SO2 via OH oxidation and other oxidation pathways, specifically that via stabilized Criegee Intermediates. The sulphuric acid sinks included in the proxy are its condensation sink (CS) and atmospheric clustering starting from H2SO4 dimer formation. Indeed, we found that the observed sulphuric acid concentration can be explained by the proposed sources and sinks with similar coefficients in the four contrasting environments where we have tested it. Thus, the new proxy is a more flexible and an important improvement of previous proxies. Following the recommendations in the manuscript, a proxy for a specific location can be derived.

Lubna Dada et al.

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Short summary
We rely on sulphuric acid measurements in four contrasting environments, Hyytiälä, Finland; Agia Marina, Cyprus; Budapest, Hungary; and Beijing, China, representing semi-pristine boreal forest, rural environment in the Mediterranean area, urban environment and heavily polluted megacity, respectively, in order to define the sources and sinks of sulphuric acid in these environments and to derive a new sulphuric acid proxy to be utilized in locations and during periods when it is not measured.
We rely on sulphuric acid measurements in four contrasting environments, Hyytiälä, Finland;...
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