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Journal Article

Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentration in the Brazilian northeast semi-arid region: the influence of local circulation


Borrmann,  S.
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Almeida, G. P., Borrmann, S., & Leal Junior, J. B. V. (2014). Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentration in the Brazilian northeast semi-arid region: the influence of local circulation. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 125(3-4), 159-176. doi:10.1007/s00703-014-0329-1.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-9D17-E
Ground-based aerosol instrumentation covering particle size diameters from 25 nm to 32 A mu m was deployed to determine aerosol concentration and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)-activation properties at water vapor supersaturations in the range of S = 0.20-1.50 % in the remote Brazilian northeast semi-arid region (NEB) in coastal (maritime) and continental (inland) regimes. The instruments measured aerosol number concentration and activation spectra for CCN and revealed that aerosol properties are sensitive with respect to the sources as a function of the local wind circulation system. The observations show that coastal aerosol total number concentrations are above 3,000 cm(-3) on average, exhibiting concentration peaks depending on the time of the day in a consistent daily pattern. The variation on aerosol concentration has also influences on the fraction of particles active as CCN. At 1.0 % water vapor supersaturation, the fraction can reach as high as 80 %. Inland aerosol total concentrations were about 1,800-1,900 cm(-3) and did not show much diurnal variation. The fraction of particles active as CCN observed inland depend on the history of the air masses, and was much higher when air masses were originated over the sea. It was found that (NH4)(2)SO4 and NaCl are the major soluble inorganic fraction of the aerosols at the coast. The major fraction of NaCl was present in the coarse mode, while ammonium sulfate dominates the inorganic fraction at the submicron range, with about 10 % of the total aerosol mass at 0.32 A mu m. Inorganic compounds are almost absent in particles with sizes around 0.1 mu m. The study suggests that the air masses with high concentration of CCN originate at the sea. The feasible explanation lies in the fact that the NEB's beaches have a particular morphology that produces a wide surf zone and creates a large load of aerosols when combined with strong and permanent winds of the region.