Publications

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2016
Sanchez, KJ, Russell LM, Modini RL, Frossard AA, Ahlm L, Corrigan CE, Roberts GC, Hawkins LN, Schroder JC, Bertram AK, Zhao R, Lee AKY, Lin JJ, Nenes A, Wang Z, Wonaschutz A, Sorooshian A, Noone KJ, Jonsson H, Toom D, Macdonald AM, Leaitch WR, Seinfeld JH.  2016.  Meteorological and aerosol effects on marine cloud microphysical properties. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 121:4142-4161.   10.1002/2015jd024595   AbstractWebsite

Meteorology and microphysics affect cloud formation, cloud droplet distributions, and shortwave reflectance. The Eastern Pacific Emitted Aerosol Cloud Experiment and the Stratocumulus Observations of Los-Angeles Emissions Derived Aerosol-Droplets studies provided measurements in six case studies of cloud thermodynamic properties, initial particle number distribution and composition, and cloud drop distribution. In this study, we use simulations from a chemical and microphysical aerosol-cloud parcel (ACP) model with explicit kinetic drop activation to reproduce observed cloud droplet distributions of the case studies. Four cases had subadiabatic lapse rates, resulting in fewer activated droplets, lower liquid water content, and higher cloud base height than an adiabatic lapse rate. A weighted ensemble of simulations that reflect measured variation in updraft velocity and cloud base height was used to reproduce observed droplet distributions. Simulations show that organic hygroscopicity in internally mixed cases causes small effects on cloud reflectivity (CR) (<0.01), except for cargo ship and smoke plumes, which increased CR by 0.02 and 0.07, respectively, owing to their high organic mass fraction. Organic hygroscopicity had larger effects on droplet concentrations for cases with higher aerosol concentrations near the critical diameter (namely, polluted cases with a modal peak near 0.1 mu m). Differences in simulated droplet spectral widths (k) caused larger differences in CR than organic hygroscopicity in cases with organic mass fractions of 60% or less for the cases shown. Finally, simulations from a numerical parameterization of cloud droplet activation suitable for general circulation models compared well with the ACP model, except under high organic mass fraction.

2011
Creamean, JM, Ault AP, Ten Hoeve JE, Jacobson MZ, Roberts GC, Prather KA.  2011.  Measurements of aerosol chemistry during new particle formation events at a remote rural mountain site. Environmental Science & Technology. 45:8208-8216.   10.1021/es103692f   AbstractWebsite

Determining the major sources of particles that act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) represents a critical step in the development of a more fundamental understanding of aerosol impacts on cloud formation and climate. Reported herein are direct measurements of the CCN activity of newly formed ambient particles, measured at a remote rural site in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. Nucleation events in the winter of 2009 occurred during two pristine periods following precipitation, with higher gas-phase SO(2) concentrations during the second period, when faster particle growth occurred (7-8 nm/h). Amines, as opposed to ammonia, and sulfate were detected in the particle phase throughout new particle formation (NPF) events, increasing in number as the particles grew to larger sizes. Interestingly, long-range transport of SO(2) from Asia appeared to potentially play a role in NPF during faster particle growth. Understanding the propensity of newly formed particles to act as CCN is critical for predicting the effects of NPF on orographic cloud formation during winter storms along the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The potential impact of newly formed particles in remote regions needs to be compared with that of transported urban aerosols when evaluating the impact of aerosols on clouds and climate.