Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:30 AM
Room 12A (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
New particle formation (NPF), nucleation of condensable vapors to the solid or liquid phase, is a significant source of atmospheric aerosol particle number concentrations. With sufficient growth, these nucleated particles may be a significant source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), thus altering cloud albedo, structure, and lifetimes, and insolation reaching the Earth’s surface. Herein we present one of the first numerical experiments conducted at sufficiently high resolution and fidelity to quantify the impact of NPF on cloud radiative properties. Consistent with observations in spring over the Midwestern U.S.A., NPF occurs frequently and on regional scales. However, NPF is not associated with enhancement of regional cloud albedo. These simulations indicate that NPF reduces ambient sulfuric acid concentrations sufficiently to inhibit growth of preexisting particles to CCN sizes, reduces CCN-sized particle concentrations, and reduces cloud albedo. The reduction in cloud albedo on NPF days results in a domain average positive top of atmosphere cloud radiative forcing, and thus warming, of 10 W m-2 and up to ~ 50 W m-2 in individual grid cells relative to a simulation in which NPF is excluded.
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