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Title: A three-dimensional sectional representation of aerosol mixing state for simulating optical properties and cloud condensation nuclei

Light absorption by black carbon (BC) particles emitted from fossil fuel combustion depends on the how thickly they are coated with non-refractory species such as ammonium, sulfate, nitrate, organics, and water. The cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation property of a particle depends on its dry size and the hygroscopicities of all the individual species mixed together. It is therefore necessary to represent both size and mixing state of aerosols to reliably predict their climate-relevant properties in atmospheric models. Here we describe and evaluate a novel sectional framework in the Model for Simulating Aerosol Interactions and Chemistry, referred to as MOSAIC-mix, that represents the mixing state by resolving aerosol dry size (Ddry), BC dry mass fraction (wBC), and hygroscopicity (κ). Using ten idealized urban plume scenarios in which different types of aerosols evolve over 24 hours under a range of atmospherically relevant environmental conditions, we examine errors in CCN concentrations and optical properties with respect to a more explicit aerosol mixing state representation. We find that only a small number of wBC and κ bins are needed to achieve significant reductions in the errors, and propose a configuration consisting of 24 Ddry bins, 2 wBC bins, and 2 κ bins thatmore » gives 24-hour average errors of about 5% or less in CCN concentrations and optical properties, 3-4 times lower than those from size-only-resolved simulations. These results show that MOSAIC-mix is suitable for use in regional and global models to examine the effects of evolving aerosol mixing states on aerosol-radiation-cloud feedbacks.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 121(10):5912–5929
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
aerosol; cloud condensation nuclei; CCN; black carbon; BC