Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-338
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-338
 
12 May 2022
12 May 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Seasonal Significance of New Particle Formation Impacts on Cloud Condensation Nuclei at a Mountaintop Location

Noah S. Hirshorn1, Lauren M. Zuromski1, Christopher Rapp2, Ian McCubbin1, Fangqun Yu3, and A. Gannet Hallar1 Noah S. Hirshorn et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 84112, United States
  • 2Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 47907, United States
  • 3Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Albany, 12203, United States

Abstract. New particle formation (NPF) events are defined as a sudden burst of aerosols followed by growth and can impact climate by growing to larger sizes and under proper conditions, potentially forming cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Field measurements relating NPF and CCN are crucial in expanding regional understanding of how aerosols impact climate. To quantify the possible impact of NPF on CCN formation, it is important to not only maintain consistency when classifying NPF events but to also consider the proper timeframe for particle growth to CCN relevant sizes. Here, we analyze 15 years of direct measurements of both aerosol size distributions and CCN concentrations and combine them with novel methods to quantify the impact of NPF on CCN formation at Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL), a remote, mountaintop observatory in Colorado. Findings show that NPF occurs on 50 % of all days considered in the study. Events with persistent growth are common in the spring and winter, while burst events are more common in the summer and fall. NPF significantly enhances CCN during the winter by a factor of 1.36 and the spring by a factor of 1.54, which, when combined with previous work at SPL, suggests the enhancement of CCN by NPF occurs on a regional scale. For the first time, results clearly demonstrate the significant impact of NPF on CCN in montane North American regions and the potential for widespread impact of NPF on CCN.

Noah S. Hirshorn et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-338', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Jul 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Noah Hirshorn, 07 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-338', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Noah Hirshorn, 07 Sep 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-338', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Jul 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Noah Hirshorn, 07 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-338', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Noah Hirshorn, 07 Sep 2022

Noah S. Hirshorn et al.

Noah S. Hirshorn et al.

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Short summary
New particle formation (NPF) is a source of atmospheric aerosol number concentration that can impact climate by growing to larger sizes and under proper conditions, forming cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Using novel methods, we find that at Storm Peak Laboratory, a remote mountaintop site in Colorado, NPF is observed to enhance CCN concentrations in the spring by a factor of 1.54 and in the winter by a factor of 1.36 which can occur on a regional scale having important climate implications.
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