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2016
Wex, H, Dieckmann K, Roberts GC, Conrath T, Izaguirre MA, Hartmann S, Herenz P, Schafer M, Ditas F, Schmeissner T, Henning S, Wehner B, Siebert H, Stratmann F.  2016.  Aerosol arriving on the Caribbean island of Barbados: physical properties and origin. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:14107-14130.   10.5194/acp-16-14107-2016   AbstractWebsite

The marine aerosol arriving at Barbados (Ragged Point) was characterized during two 3-week long measurement periods in November 2010 and April 2011, in the context of the measurement campaign CARRIBA (Cloud, Aerosol, Radiation and tuRbulence in the trade wInd regime over BArbados). Through a comparison between ground-based and airborne measurements it was shown that the former are representative of the marine boundary layer at least up to cloud base. In general, total particle number concentrations (N-total) ranged from as low as 100 up to 800 cm(-3), while number concentrations for cloud condensation nuclei (N-CCN) at a supersaturation of 0.26% ranged from some 10 to 600 cm(-3). N-total and N-CCN depended on the air mass origin. Three distinct types of air masses were found. One type showed elevated values for both N-total and N-CCN and could be attributed to long-range transport from Africa, by which biomass burning particles from the Sahel region and/or mineral dust particles from the Sahara were advected. The second and third type both had values for N-CCN below 200 cm(-3) and a clear minimum in the particle number size distribution (NSD) around 70 to 80 nm (Hoppel minimum). While for one of these two types the accumulation mode was dominating (albeit less so than for air masses advected from Africa), the Aitken mode dominated the other and contributed more than 50% of all particles. These Aitken mode particles likely were formed by new particle formation no more than 3 days prior to the measurements. Hygroscopicity of particles in the CCN size range was determined from CCN measurements to be kappa = 0.66 on average, which suggests that these particles contain mainly sulfate and do not show a strong influence from organic material, which might generally be the case for the months during which measurements were made. The average kappa could be used to derive N-CCN from measured number size distributions, showing that this is a valid approach to obtain N-CCN. Although the total particulate mass sampled on filters was found to be dominated by Na+ and Cl-, this was found to be contributed by a small number of large particles (> 500 nm, mostly even in the super-micron size range). Based on a three-modal fit, a sea spray mode observed in the NSDs was found to contribute 90% to the total particulate mass but only 4 to 10% to N-total and up to 15% to N-CCN. This is in accordance with finding no correlation between N-total and wind speed.

2013
Siebert, H, Beals M, Bethke J, Bierwirth E, Conrath T, Dieckmann K, Ditas F, Ehrlich A, Farrell D, Hartmann S, Izaguirre MA, Katzwinkel J, Nuijens L, Roberts G, Schafer M, Shaw RA, Schmeissner T, Serikov I, Stevens B, Stratmann F, Wehner B, Wendisch M, Werner F, Wex H.  2013.  The fine-scale structure of the trade wind cumuli over Barbados - an introduction to the CARRIBA project. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 13:10061-10077.   10.5194/acp-13-10061-2013   AbstractWebsite

The CARRIBA (Cloud, Aerosol, Radiation and tuRbulence in the trade wInd regime over BArbados) project, focused on high resolution and collocated measurements of thermodynamic, turbulent, microphysical, and radiative properties of trade wind cumuli over Barbados, is introduced. The project is based on two one-month field campaigns in November 2010 (climatic wet season) and April 2011 (climatic dry season). Observations are based on helicopterborne and ground-based measurements in an area of 100 km(2) off the coast of Barbados. CARRIBA is accompanied by long-term observations at the Barbados Cloud Observatory located at the East coast of Barbados since early in 2010 and which provides a longer-term context for the CARRIBA measurements. The deployed instrumentation and sampling strategy are presented together with a classification of the meteorological conditions. The two campaigns were influenced by different air masses advected from the Caribbean area, the Atlantic Ocean, and the African continent which led to distinct aerosol conditions. Pristine conditions with low aerosol particle number concentrations of similar to 100 cm(3) were alternating with periods influenced by Saharan dust or aerosol from biomass burning resulting in comparably high number concentrations of similar to 500 cm(3). The biomass burning aerosol was originating from both the Caribbean area and Africa. The shallow cumulus clouds responded to the different aerosol conditions with a wide range of mean droplet sizes and number concentrations. Two days with different aerosol and cloud microphysical properties but almost identical meteorological conditions have been analyzed in detail. The differences in the droplet number concentration and droplet sizes appear not to show any significant change for turbulent cloud mixing, but the relative roles of droplet inertia and sedimentation in initiating coalescence, as well as the cloud reflectivity, do change substantially.

2006
Roberts, G, Mauger G, Hadley O, Ramanathan V.  2006.  North American and Asian aerosols over the eastern Pacific Ocean and their role in regulating cloud condensation nuclei. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 111   10.1029/2005jd006661   AbstractWebsite

[ 1] Measurements of aerosol and cloud properties in the Eastern Pacific Ocean were taken during an airborne experiment on the University of Wyoming's King Air during April 2004 as part of the Cloud Indirect Forcing Experiment (CIFEX). We observed a wide variety of aerosols, including those of long-range transport from Asia, clean marine boundary layer, and North American emissions. These aerosols, classified by their size distribution and history, were found in stratified layers between 500 to 7500 m above sea level and thicknesses from 100 to 3000 m. A comparison of the aerosol size distributions to measurements of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) provides insight to the CCN activity of the different aerosol types. The overall ratio of measured to predicted CCN concentration (NCCN) is 0.56 +/- 0.41 with a relationship of N-CCN,N- measured = N-CCN, predicted(0.846 +/- 0.002) for 23 research flights and 1884 comparisons. Such a relationship does not accurately describe a CCN closure; however, it is consistent with our measurements that high CCN concentrations are more influenced by anthropogenic sources, which are less CCN active. While other CCN closures have obtained results closer to the expected 1: 1 relationship, the different aerosol types ( and presumably differences in aerosol chemistry) are responsible for the discrepancy. The measured N-CCN at 0.3% supersaturation (S-c) ranged from 20 cm(-3) (pristine) to 350 cm(-3) ( anthropogenic) with an average of 106 +/- 54 cm(-3) over the experiment. The inferred supersaturation in the clouds sampled during this experiment is similar to 0.3%. CCN concentrations of cloud-processed aerosol were well predicted using an ammonium sulfate approximation for S-c <= 0.4%. Predicted N-CCN for other aerosol types (i.e., Asian and North American aerosols) were high compared to measured values indicating a less CCN active aerosol. This study highlights the importance of chemical effects on CCN measurements and introduces a CCN activation index as a method of classifying the efficiency of an aerosol to serve as CCN relative to an ammonium sulfate particle. This index ranged from close to unity for cloud processed aerosols to as low as 0.31 for aged aerosols transported from Asia. We also compare the performance of two CCN instruments ( static thermal diffusion chamber and streamwise continuous flow chamber) on a 45 minute level leg where we observe an aged layer and a nucleation event. More than 50% of the aged aerosol served as CCN at 0.2% S-c, primarily owing to their large size, while CCN concentrations during the nucleation event were close to 0 cm(-3). CCN concentrations from both instruments agreed within instrument errors; however, the continuous flow chamber effectively captured the rapid transition in aerosol properties.