Title: Aerosol hygroscopicity at a regional background site (Ispra) in Northern Italy
Citation: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS vol. 12 no. 13 p. 5703-5717
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC67221
ISSN: 1680-7316
URI: www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/5703/2012/
DOI: 10.5194/acp-12-5703-2012
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This study focuses on the aerosol hygroscopic properties as determined from ground-based measurements and Mie’s theory. Usually, aerosol ground-based measurements are taken in dry conditions in order to have a consistency within networks. The dependence of the various aerosol optical characteristics (e.g. aerosol absorption, scattering, backscattering or extinction coefficients) on relative humidity has therefore to be established in order to determine their values in the atmosphere, where relative humidity (RH) can reach high values. We calculated mean monthly diurnal values of the aerosol hygroscopic growth factor at 90% GF(90) based on measurements performed at EMEP-GAW station of Ispra with a Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer over eight months in 2008 and 2009. Particle hygroscopicity increases with particle dry diameter ranging from 35 to 165 nm for all season. We observed a clear seasonal variation in GF(90) for particles larger than 75 nm, and a diurnal cycle in spring and winter for all sizes. For 165 nm particles, GF(90) averages 1.32 ± 0.06. The effect of the particle hygroscopic growth on the aerosol optical properties (scattering, extinction, absorption and backscatter coefficients, asymmetry parameter and backscatter faction) was computed using the Mie theory, based on data obtained from a series of instruments run at our station. We found median enhancement factors (defined as ratios between the values of optical variables at 90 and 0% RH) equal to 1.1, 2.1, 1.7, and 1.8, for the aerosol absorption, scattering, backscattering, and extinction coefficients, respectively. All except the absorption enhancement factors show a strong correlation with the hygroscopic growth factor. The enhancement factors observed at our site are among the lowest observed across the world for the aerosol scattering coefficient, and among the highest for the aerosol backscatter fraction.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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