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Differing Mechanisms of New Particle Formation at Two Arctic Sites

New publication by Lisa J. Beck, Nina Sarnela, Heikki Junninen et al.

2021.03.15 | Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen


 New particle formation in the Arctic atmosphere is an important source of aerosol particles. Understanding the processes of Arctic secondary aerosol formation is crucial due to their significant impact on cloud properties and therefore Arctic amplification. We observed the molecular formation of new particles from low‐volatility vapors at two Arctic sites with differing surroundings. In Svalbard, sulfuric acid (SA) and methane sulfonic acid (MSA) contribute to the formation of secondary aerosol and to some extent to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). This occurs via ion‐induced nucleation of SA and NH3 and subsequent growth by mainly SA and MSA condensation during springtime and highly oxygenated organic molecules during summertime. By contrast, in an ice‐covered region around Villum, we observed new particle formation driven by iodic acid but its concentration was insufficient to grow nucleated particles to CCN sizes. Our results provide new insight about sources and precursors of Arctic secondary aerosol particles.


Arctic Research Centre