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Title: Modelling New Particle Formation Events in the South African Savannah

Africa is one of the less studied continents with respect to atmospheric aerosols. Savannahs are complex dynamic systems sensitive to climate and land-use changes, but the interaction with the atmosphere is not well understood. Atmospheric particles, aka aerosols, affect the climate on regional and global scale, and are an important factor in air quality. In this study measurements from a relatively clean savannah environment in South Africa were used to model new particle formation and growth. There are already some combined long-term measurements of trace gas concentrations together with aerosol and meteorological variables available, but to our knowledge this is the first time detailed simulations, that include all the main processes relevant to particle formation, were done. The results show that both investigated particle formation mechanisms overestimated the formation rates dependency on sulphuric acid. The approach including low volatile organic compounds to the particle formation process was more accurate in describing the nucleation events. To get reliable estimation of aerosol concentration in simulations for larger scales, nucleation mechanisms would need to include organic compounds, at least in southern Africa.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: South African Journal of Science, 110(5/6):Article No. 2013-0108
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States