Summertime observations of ultrafine particles and cloud condensation nuclei from the boundary layer to the free troposphere in the Arctic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
The Arctic is extremely sensitive to climate change. Shrinking sea ice extent increases the area covered by open ocean during Arctic summer, which impacts the surface albedo and aerosol and cloud properties among many things. In this context extensive aerosol measurements (aerosol composition, particle number and size, cloud condensation nuclei, and trace gases) were made during 11 flights of the NETCARE July, 2014 airborne campaign conducted from Resolute Bay, Nunavut (74N, 94W). Flights
... ely included vertical profiles from about 60 to 3000&thinsp;m&thinsp;a.g.l. as well as several low-level horizontal transects over open ocean, fast ice, melt ponds, and polynyas. Here we discuss the vertical distribution of ultrafine particles (UFP, particle diameter, dp: 5&ndash;20&thinsp;nm), size distributions of larger particles (dp: 20&thinsp;nm to 1&thinsp;μm), and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN, supersaturation = 0.6&thinsp;%) in relation to meteorological conditions and underlying surfaces. UFPs were observed predominantly within the boundary layer, where concentrations were often several hundreds to a few thousand particles per cubic centimeter. Occasionally, particle concentrations below 10&thinsp;cm<sup>&minus;3</sup> were found. The highest UFP concentrations were observed above open ocean and at the top of low-level clouds, whereas numbers over ice-covered regions were substantially lower. Overall, UFP formation events were frequent in a clean boundary layer with a low condensation sink. In a few cases this ultrafine mode extended to sizes larger than 40&thinsp;nm, suggesting that these UFP can grow into a size range where they can impact clouds and therefore climate.