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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 23, 2025
  2. Abstract The interaction between nitrogen monoxide (NO) and organic peroxy radicals (RO 2 ) greatly impacts the formation of highly oxygenated organic molecules (HOM), the key precursors of secondary organic aerosols. It has been thought that HOM production can be significantly suppressed by NO even at low concentrations. Here, we perform dedicated experiments focusing on HOM formation from monoterpenes at low NO concentrations (0 – 82 pptv). We demonstrate that such low NO can enhance HOM production by modulating the RO 2 loss and favoring the formation of alkoxy radicals that can continue to autoxidize through isomerization. These insights suggest that HOM yields from typical boreal forest emissions can vary between 2.5%-6.5%, and HOM formation will not be completely inhibited even at high NO concentrations. Our findings challenge the notion that NO monotonically reduces HOM yields by extending the knowledge of RO 2 -NO interactions to the low-NO regime. This represents a major advance towards an accurate assessment of HOM budgets, especially in low-NO environments, which prevails in the pre-industrial atmosphere, pristine areas, and the upper boundary layer. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Abstract Frequency and intensity of warm and moist air-mass intrusions into the Arctic have increased over the past decades and have been related to sea ice melt. During our year-long expedition in the remote central Arctic Ocean, a record-breaking increase in temperature, moisture and downwelling-longwave radiation was observed in mid-April 2020, during an air-mass intrusion carrying air pollutants from northern Eurasia. The two-day intrusion, caused drastic changes in the aerosol size distribution, chemical composition and particle hygroscopicity. Here we show how the intrusion transformed the Arctic from a remote low-particle environment to an area comparable to a central-European urban setting. Additionally, the intrusion resulted in an explosive increase in cloud condensation nuclei, which can have direct effects on Arctic clouds’ radiation, their precipitation patterns, and their lifetime. Thus, unless prompt actions to significantly reduce emissions in the source regions are taken, such intrusion events are expected to continue to affect the Arctic climate. 
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  4. The main nucleating vapor in the atmosphere is thought to be sulfuric acid (H2SO4), stabilized by ammonia (NH3). However, in marine and polar regions, NH3is generally low, and H2SO4is frequently found together with iodine oxoacids [HIOx, i.e., iodic acid (HIO3) and iodous acid (HIO2)]. In experiments performed with the CERN CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) chamber, we investigated the interplay of H2SO4and HIOxduring atmospheric particle nucleation. We found that HIOxgreatly enhances H2SO4(-NH3) nucleation through two different interactions. First, HIO3strongly binds with H2SO4in charged clusters so they drive particle nucleation synergistically. Second, HIO2substitutes for NH3, forming strongly bound H2SO4-HIO2acid-base pairs in molecular clusters. Global observations imply that HIOxis enhancing H2SO4(-NH3) nucleation rates 10- to 10,000-fold in marine and polar regions.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 15, 2024
  5. Biogenic vapors form new particles in the atmosphere, affecting global climate. The contributions of monoterpenes and isoprene to new particle formation (NPF) have been extensively studied. However, sesquiterpenes have received little attention despite a potentially important role due to their high molecular weight. Via chamber experiments performed under atmospheric conditions, we report biogenic NPF resulting from the oxidation of pure mixtures of β-caryophyllene, α-pinene, and isoprene, which produces oxygenated compounds over a wide range of volatilities. We find that a class of vapors termed ultralow-volatility organic compounds (ULVOCs) are highly efficient nucleators and quantitatively determine NPF efficiency. When compared with a mixture of isoprene and monoterpene alone, adding only 2% sesquiterpene increases the ULVOC yield and doubles the formation rate. Thus, sesquiterpene emissions need to be included in assessments of global aerosol concentrations in pristine climates where biogenic NPF is expected to be a major source of cloud condensation nuclei.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 8, 2024
  6. Abstract

    Transformation of low-volatility gaseous precursors to new particles affects aerosol number concentration, cloud formation and hence the climate. The clustering of acid and base molecules is a major mechanism driving fast nucleation and initial growth of new particles in the atmosphere. However, the acid–base cluster composition, measured using state-of-the-art mass spectrometers, cannot explain the measured high formation rate of new particles. Here we present strong evidence for the existence of base molecules such as amines in the smallest atmospheric sulfuric acid clusters prior to their detection by mass spectrometers. We demonstrate that forming (H2SO4)1(amine)1 is the rate-limiting step in atmospheric H2SO4-amine nucleation and the uptake of (H2SO4)1(amine)1 is a major pathway for the initial growth of H2SO4 clusters. The proposed mechanism is very consistent with measured new particle formation in urban Beijing, in which dimethylamine is the key base for H2SO4 nucleation while other bases such as ammonia may contribute to the growth of larger clusters. Our findings further underline the fact that strong amines, even at low concentrations and when undetected in the smallest clusters, can be crucial to particle formation in the planetary boundary layer.

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  7. Abstract. Aerosol particles have an important role in Earth'sradiation balance and climate, both directly and indirectly throughaerosol–cloud interactions. Most aerosol particles in the atmosphere areweakly charged, affecting both their collision rates with ions and neutralmolecules, as well as the rates by which they are scavenged by other aerosolparticles and cloud droplets. The rate coefficients between ions and aerosolparticles are important since they determine the growth rates and lifetimesof ions and charged aerosol particles, and so they may influence cloudmicrophysics, dynamics, and aerosol processing. However, despite theirimportance, very few experimental measurements exist of charged aerosolcollision rates under atmospheric conditions, where galactic cosmic rays inthe lower troposphere give rise to ion pair concentrations of around 1000 cm−3. Here we present measurements in the CERN CLOUD chamber of therate coefficients between ions and small (<10 nm) aerosol particlescontaining up to 9 elementary charges, e. We find the rate coefficient of asingly charged ion with an oppositely charged particle increases from 2.0(0.4–4.4) × 10−6 cm3 s−1 to 30.6 (24.9–45.1) × 10−6 cm3 s−1 for particles with charges of 1 to9 e, respectively, where the parentheses indicate the ±1σuncertainty interval. Our measurements are compatible with theoreticalpredictions and show excellent agreement with the model ofGatti and Kortshagen (2008). 
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  8. Abstract Unlike bromine, the effect of iodine chemistry on the Arctic surface ozone budget is poorly constrained. We present ship-based measurements of halogen oxides in the high Arctic boundary layer from the sunlit period of March to October 2020 and show that iodine enhances springtime tropospheric ozone depletion. We find that chemical reactions between iodine and ozone are the second highest contributor to ozone loss over the study period, after ozone photolysis-initiated loss and ahead of bromine. 
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  9. Abstract. Currently, the complete chemical characterization of nanoparticles(< 100 nm) represents an analytical challenge, since these particlesare abundant in number but have negligible mass. Several methods forparticle-phase characterization have been recently developed to betterdetect and infer more accurately the sources and fates of sub-100 nmparticles, but a detailed comparison of different approaches is missing.Here we report on the chemical composition of secondary organic aerosol(SOA) nanoparticles from experimental studies of α-pinene ozonolysisat −50, −30, and −10 ∘C and intercompare the results measured by differenttechniques. The experiments were performed at the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoorDroplets (CLOUD) chamber at the European Organization for Nuclear Research(CERN). The chemical composition was measured simultaneously by fourdifferent techniques: (1) thermal desorption–differential mobility analyzer(TD–DMA) coupled to a NO3- chemical ionization–atmospheric-pressure-interface–time-of-flight (CI–APi–TOF) massspectrometer, (2) filter inlet for gases and aerosols (FIGAERO) coupled to anI− high-resolution time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer(HRToF-CIMS), (3) extractive electrospray Na+ ionizationtime-of-flight mass spectrometer (EESI-TOF), and (4) offline analysis offilters (FILTER) using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)and heated electrospray ionization (HESI) coupled to an Orbitraphigh-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS). Intercomparison was performed bycontrasting the observed chemical composition as a function of oxidationstate and carbon number, by estimating the volatility and comparing thefraction of volatility classes, and by comparing the thermal desorptionbehavior (for the thermal desorption techniques: TD–DMA and FIGAERO) andperforming positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis for the thermograms.We found that the methods generally agree on the most important compoundsthat are found in the nanoparticles. However, they do see different parts ofthe organic spectrum. We suggest potential explanations for thesedifferences: thermal decomposition, aging, sampling artifacts, etc. Weapplied PMF analysis and found insights of thermal decomposition in theTD–DMA and the FIGAERO. 
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