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Title: New particle formation leads to cloud dimming

Abstract

New particle formation (NPF), nucleation of condensable vapors to the solid or liquid phase, is a significant source of atmospheric aerosol particle number concentrations. With sufficient growth, these nucleated particles may be a significant source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), thus altering cloud albedo, structure, and lifetimes, and insolation reaching the Earth's surface. Herein we present one of the first numerical experiments to quantify the impact of NPF on cloud radiative properties that is conducted at a convection permitting resolution and that explicitly simulates cloud droplet number concentrations. Consistent with observations, these simulations suggest that in spring over the Midwestern U.S.A., NPF occurs frequently and on regional scales. However, the simulations suggest that NPF is not associated with enhancement of regional cloud albedos as would be expected from an increase of CCN. These simulations indicate that NPF reduces ambient sulfuric acid concentrations sufficiently to inhibit growth of preexisting particles to CCN sizes. This reduction in CCN-sized particles reduces cloud albedo, resulting in a domain average positive top of atmosphere cloud radiative forcing of 10 W m-2 and up to ~ 50 W m-2 in individual grid cells relative to a simulation in which NPF is excluded.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1455299
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-127126
Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3722; KP1703010
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: npj Climate and Atmospheric Science; Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Sullivan, Ryan C., Crippa, Paola, Matsui, Hitoshi, Leung, L. Ruby, Zhao, Chun, Thota, Abhinav, and Pryor, Sara C.. New particle formation leads to cloud dimming. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0019-7.
Sullivan, Ryan C., Crippa, Paola, Matsui, Hitoshi, Leung, L. Ruby, Zhao, Chun, Thota, Abhinav, & Pryor, Sara C.. New particle formation leads to cloud dimming. United States. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0019-7.
Sullivan, Ryan C., Crippa, Paola, Matsui, Hitoshi, Leung, L. Ruby, Zhao, Chun, Thota, Abhinav, and Pryor, Sara C.. Mon . "New particle formation leads to cloud dimming". United States. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0019-7.
@article{osti_1455299,
title = {New particle formation leads to cloud dimming},
author = {Sullivan, Ryan C. and Crippa, Paola and Matsui, Hitoshi and Leung, L. Ruby and Zhao, Chun and Thota, Abhinav and Pryor, Sara C.},
abstractNote = {New particle formation (NPF), nucleation of condensable vapors to the solid or liquid phase, is a significant source of atmospheric aerosol particle number concentrations. With sufficient growth, these nucleated particles may be a significant source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), thus altering cloud albedo, structure, and lifetimes, and insolation reaching the Earth's surface. Herein we present one of the first numerical experiments to quantify the impact of NPF on cloud radiative properties that is conducted at a convection permitting resolution and that explicitly simulates cloud droplet number concentrations. Consistent with observations, these simulations suggest that in spring over the Midwestern U.S.A., NPF occurs frequently and on regional scales. However, the simulations suggest that NPF is not associated with enhancement of regional cloud albedos as would be expected from an increase of CCN. These simulations indicate that NPF reduces ambient sulfuric acid concentrations sufficiently to inhibit growth of preexisting particles to CCN sizes. This reduction in CCN-sized particles reduces cloud albedo, resulting in a domain average positive top of atmosphere cloud radiative forcing of 10 W m-2 and up to ~ 50 W m-2 in individual grid cells relative to a simulation in which NPF is excluded.},
doi = {10.1038/s41612-018-0019-7},
journal = {npj Climate and Atmospheric Science},
number = 1,
volume = 1,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 21 00:00:00 EDT 2018},
month = {Mon May 21 00:00:00 EDT 2018}
}