Aerosol Physicochemical Properties in Relation to Meteorology: Case Studies in Urban, Marine and Arid Settings
shallow cumulus clouds
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 25-Mar-2013
AbstractAtmospheric aerosols are a highly relevant component of the climate system affecting atmospheric radiative transfer and the hydrological cycle. As opposed to other key atmospheric constituents with climatic relevance, atmospheric aerosol particles are highly heterogeneous in time and space with respect to their size, concentration, chemical composition and physical properties. Many aspects of their life cycle are not understood, making them difficult to represent in climate models and hard to control as a pollutant. Aerosol-cloud interactions in particular are infamous as a major source of uncertainty in future climate predictions. Field measurements are an important source of information for the modeling community and can lead to a better understanding of chemical and microphysical processes. In this study, field data from urban, marine, and arid settings are analyzed and the impact of meteorological conditions on the evolution of aerosol particles while in the atmosphere is investigated. Particular attention is given to organic aerosols, which are a poorly understood component of atmospheric aerosols. Local wind characteristics, solar radiation, relative humidity and the presence or absence of clouds and fog are found to be crucial factors in the transport and chemical evolution of aerosol particles. Organic aerosols in particular are found to be heavily impacted by processes in the liquid phase (cloud droplets and aerosol water). The reported measurements serve to improve the process-level understanding of aerosol evolution in different environments and to inform the modeling community by providing realistic values for input parameters and validation of model calculations.
Degree ProgramGraduate College