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Title: The acidity of atmospheric particles and clouds
Abstract. Acidity, defined as pH, is a central component of aqueouschemistry. In the atmosphere, the acidity of condensed phases (aerosolparticles, cloud water, and fog droplets) governs the phase partitioning ofsemivolatile gases such as HNO3, NH3, HCl, and organic acids andbases as well as chemical reaction rates. It has implications for theatmospheric lifetime of pollutants, deposition, and human health. Despiteits fundamental role in atmospheric processes, only recently has this fieldseen a growth in the number of studies on particle acidity. Even with thisgrowth, many fine-particle pH estimates must be based on thermodynamic modelcalculations since no operational techniques exist for direct measurements.Current information indicates acidic fine particles are ubiquitous, butobservationally constrained pH estimates are limited in spatial and temporalcoverage. Clouds and fogs are also generally acidic, but to a lesser degreethan particles, and have a range of pH that is quite sensitive toanthropogenic emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, as well as ambientammonia. Historical measurements indicate that cloud and fog droplet pH haschanged in recent decades in response to controls on anthropogenicemissions, while the limited trend data for aerosol particles indicateacidity may be relatively constant due to the semivolatile nature of thekey acids and bases and buffering in particles. This paper reviews andsynthesizes the current state of knowledge on the acidity of atmosphericcondensed phases, specifically particles and cloud droplets. It includesrecommendations for estimating acidity and pH, standard nomenclature, asynthesis of current pH estimates based on observations, and new modelcalculations on the local and global scale.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1654149 1644998
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
4809 to 4888
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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