Global-regional nested simulation of particle number concentration by combing microphysical processes with an evolving organic aerosol module.

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Date: June 17, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 12)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 375 words

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Abstract :

Aerosol microphysical processes are essential for the next generation of global and regional climate and air quality models to determine particle size distribution. The contribution of organic aerosols (OAs) to particle formation, mass, and number concentration is one of the major uncertainties in current models. A new global-regional nested aerosol model was developed to simulate detailed microphysical processes. The model combines an advanced particle microphysics (APM) module and a volatility basis set (VBS) OA module to calculate the kinetic condensation of low-volatility organic compounds and equilibrium partitioning of semi-volatile organic compounds in a 3-D framework using global-regional nested domain. In addition to the condensation of sulfuric acid, the equilibrium partitioning of nitrate and ammonium, and the coagulation process of particles, the microphysical processes of the OAs are realistically represented in our new model. The model uses high-resolution size bins to calculate the size distribution of new particles formed through nucleation and subsequent growth. The multi-scale nesting enables the model to perform high-resolution simulations of the particle formation processes in the urban atmosphere in the background of regional and global environments. By using the nested domains, the model reasonably reproduced the OA components obtained from the analysis of aerosol mass spectrometry measurements through positive matrix factorization and the particle number size distribution in the megacity of Beijing during a period of approximately a month. Anthropogenic organic species accounted for 67 % of the OAs of secondary particles formed by nucleation and subsequent growth, which is considerably larger than that of biogenic OAs. On the global scale, the model well predicted the particle number concentration in various environments. The microphysical module combined with the VBS simulated the universal distribution of organic components among the different aerosol populations. The model results strongly suggest the importance of anthropogenic organic species in aerosol particle formation and growth at polluted urban sites and over the whole globe.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A665526976