Special Issue "Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Aerosols".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jessie M. Creamean

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration R/PSD2, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (303) 497-4432
Interests: aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions; ice nucleation; aerosol chemistry; Arctic aerosol characterization; Arctic aerosol–cloud interactions; mineral dust; biological aerosols; long-range aerosol transport; x-ray fluorescence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Atmospheric aerosols have a profound impact on climate, particularly by serving as seeds for cloud droplet and ice crystal formation. Aerosol–cloud interactions indirectly modulate the surface radiation budget and precipitation formation processes, globally. The ability and efficiency in which aerosols serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice-nucleating particles (INPs) largely depends on their composition, i.e., chemistry, biology, and morphology. Thus, evaluating aerosol composition is crucial for improving our understanding of aerosol–cloud processes. Although an abundance of research centralized around aerosol characterization and cloud-forming capabilities exists, aerosol–cloud processes and their effects on radiation and precipitation remain poorly constrained, namely due to the complex and evolving nature of aerosol properties, sources, and abundance.

Defining the roles of aerosol properties in cloud formation, and subsequently how they affect cloud radiative forcing and precipitation, affords an improved knowledge of aerosol impacts on climate. The objective for this Special Issue is to highlight novel research focused on the characterization of aerosols in the context of their potential to impact cloud formation, cloud radiative forcing, and/or precipitation processes. Manuscripts on these aspects, including observational and modeling studies, are welcome.

Dr. Jessie M. Creamean
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Aerosol chemical properties
  • Aerosol physical properties
  • Aerosol microbiology
  • Bulk and single-particle characterization
  • Remote sensing of aerosol and cloud properties
  • Modeling of aerosol–cloud processes
  • Aerosol vertical profiles
  • Aerosol–cloud interactions
  • Ice nucleation
  • Cloud condensation nucleation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Observed Correlation between Aerosol and Cloud Base Height for Low Clouds at Baltimore and New York, United States
Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040143
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
The correlation between aerosol particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) and cloud base height (CBH) of low clouds (CBH lower than 1.5 km a.g.l.) at Baltimore and New York, United States, for an 8 year period (2007–2014) was
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The correlation between aerosol particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 μ m (PM2.5) and cloud base height (CBH) of low clouds (CBH lower than 1.5 km a.g.l.) at Baltimore and New York, United States, for an 8 year period (2007–2014) was investigated using information from the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) observations and collocated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) observations. The lifting condensation level (LCL) heights were calculated and compared with the CBH. The monthly average observations show that PM2.5 decreases from 2007 to 2014 while there is no significant trend found for CBH and LCL. The variability of the LCL height agrees well with CBH but LCL height is systematically lower than CBH (~180 m lower). There was a significant negative correlation found between CBH–LCL and PM2.5. All of the cloud cases were separated into polluted and clean conditions based on the distribution of PM2.5 values. The distributions of CBH–LCL in the two groups show more cloud cases with smaller CBH–LCL in polluted conditions than in clean conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds)
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Open AccessArticle The Cloud Nucleating Properties and Mixing State of Marine Aerosols Sampled along the Southern California Coast
Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9020052
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Marine aerosols are a globally significant contributor to aerosol-cloud-climate interactions; however, the impact that different sources of pollution and natural emissions from the ocean have on the water uptake properties of marine aerosols remains largely underexplored. Here we present measurements of the cloud
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Marine aerosols are a globally significant contributor to aerosol-cloud-climate interactions; however, the impact that different sources of pollution and natural emissions from the ocean have on the water uptake properties of marine aerosols remains largely underexplored. Here we present measurements of the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation of marine aerosols taken in a coastal, marine environment impacted by sea spray aerosol and different sources of pollution. The hygroscopicity parameter, κ, was found to range from <0.1 up to 1.4 with a campaign-average value of 0.22 ± 0.12. Smaller particles were less hygroscopic than larger ones, and κ varied diurnally and temporally as a function of air mass transport conditions. Measurements made using aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS) revealed that heterogeneous reactions, sulfates, and temporal differences in the observed particle types had the largest impacts on the observed κ values. The aerosol mixing-state was also found to affect κ. Temporal differences between freshly-emitted soot and aged soot internally mixed with sulfates, likely emitted from ships, had the largest impact on diurnal variations in κ. Our results further demonstrate the significant impact that pollution and the aerosol mixing-state have on aerosol-cloud interactions in the marine boundary layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds)
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Open AccessArticle Atmospheric Processing and Variability of Biological Ice Nucleating Particles in Precipitation at Opme, France
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8110229
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2411 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) contribute to initiate precipitation. In particular, biological INPs act at warmer temperatures than other types of particles (>−10 °C) therefore potentially defining precipitation distribution. Here, in order to identify potential environmental drivers in the distribution and fate of
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Atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) contribute to initiate precipitation. In particular, biological INPs act at warmer temperatures than other types of particles (>−10 °C) therefore potentially defining precipitation distribution. Here, in order to identify potential environmental drivers in the distribution and fate of biological INPs in the atmosphere, we conducted a mid-term study of the freezing characteristics of precipitation. A total of 121 samples were collected during a period of >1.5 years at the rural site of Opme (680 m a.s.l. (above sea level), France). INP concentration ranged over two orders of magnitude at a given temperature depending on the sample; there were <1 INPs mL−1 at ≥−5 °C, ~0.1 to 10 mL−1 between −5 °C and −8 °C, and ~1 to 100 mL−1 at colder temperatures. The data support the existence of an intimate natural link between biological INPs and hydrological cycles. In addition, acidification was strongly correlated with a decrease of the freezing characteristics of the samples, suggesting that human activities impact the role of INPs as triggers of precipitation. Water isotope ratio measurements and statistical comparison with aerosol and cloud water data confirmed some extent of INP partitioning in the atmosphere, with the INPs active at the warmest temperatures tending to be more efficiently precipitated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds)
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Open AccessArticle Ice Nucleating Particle Concentrations Increase When Leaves Fall in Autumn
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8100202
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ice nucleating particles active at −8 °C or warmer (INP−8) are produced by plants and by microorganisms living from and on them. Laboratory studies have shown that large numbers of INP−8 are produced by decaying leaves. At three widely dispersed
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Ice nucleating particles active at −8 °C or warmer (INP−8) are produced by plants and by microorganisms living from and on them. Laboratory studies have shown that large numbers of INP−8 are produced by decaying leaves. At three widely dispersed locations in Northwestern Eurasia, we saw, from an analysis of PM10 filter samples, that seasonal median concentrations of INP−8 in the boundary layer doubled from summer to autumn. Concentrations of INP−8 increased in autumn soon after the normalized differential vegetation index had started to decrease. Whether the large-scale phenological event of leaf senescence and shedding in autumn has an impact on ice formation in clouds is a justified question. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds)
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Open AccessArticle CCN Activity, Variability and Influence on Droplet Formation during the HygrA-Cd Campaign in Athens
Atmosphere 2017, 8(6), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8060108
Received: 9 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Measurements of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations (cm−3) at five levels of supersaturation between 0.2–1%, together with remote sensing profiling and aerosol size distributions, were performed at an urban background site of Athens during the Hygroscopic Aerosols to Cloud Droplets (HygrA-CD)
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Measurements of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations (cm−3) at five levels of supersaturation between 0.2–1%, together with remote sensing profiling and aerosol size distributions, were performed at an urban background site of Athens during the Hygroscopic Aerosols to Cloud Droplets (HygrA-CD) campaign. The site is affected by local emissions and long-range transport, as portrayed by the aerosol size, hygroscopicity and mixing state. Application of a state-of-the-art droplet parameterization is used to link the observed size distribution measurements, bulk composition, and modeled boundary layer dynamics with potential supersaturation, droplet number, and sensitivity of these parameters for clouds forming above the site. The sensitivity is then used to understand the source of potential droplet number variability. We find that the importance of aerosol particle concentration levels associated with the background increases as vertical velocities increase. The updraft velocity variability was found to contribute 58–90% (68.6% on average) to the variance of the cloud droplet number, followed by the variance in aerosol number (6–32%, average 23.2%). Therefore, although local sources may strongly modulate CCN concentrations, their impact on droplet number is limited by the atmospheric dynamics expressed by the updraft velocity regime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds)
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Open AccessPerspective Perspectives on the Future of Ice Nucleation Research: Research Needs and Unanswered Questions Identified from Two International Workshops
Atmosphere 2017, 8(8), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8080138
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 29 July 2017
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (8356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been increasing interest in ice nucleation research in the last decade. To identify important gaps in our knowledge of ice nucleation processes and their impacts, two international workshops on ice nucleation were held in Vienna, Austria in 2015 and 2016. Experts
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There has been increasing interest in ice nucleation research in the last decade. To identify important gaps in our knowledge of ice nucleation processes and their impacts, two international workshops on ice nucleation were held in Vienna, Austria in 2015 and 2016. Experts from these workshops identified the following research needs: (1) uncovering the molecular identity of active sites for ice nucleation; (2) the importance of modeling for the understanding of heterogeneous ice nucleation; (3) identifying and quantifying contributions of biological ice nuclei from natural and managed environments; (4) examining the role of aging in ice nuclei; (5) conducting targeted sampling campaigns in clouds; and (6) designing lab and field experiments to increase our understanding of the role of ice-nucleating particles in the atmosphere. Interdisciplinary teams of scientists should work together to establish and maintain a common, unified language for ice nucleation research. A number of commercial applications benefit from ice nucleation research, including the production of artificial snow, the freezing and preservation of water-containing food products, and the potential modulation of weather. Additional work is needed to increase our understanding of ice nucleation processes and potential impacts on precipitation, water availability, climate change, crop health, and feedback cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and its Impact on Clouds)
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