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Identifying the Origins of Summertime Arctic Cloud Condensation Nuclei Using Online Fine Aerosol Composition Measurements


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Weather, climate & atmosphere
Project topic

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Arctic Oceans and various regions
Fieldwork region
Arctic (entire region)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 85.21399688721, -87.44499969482

Fieldwork start
Fieldwork end

SAR information

Project details

Science / project plan


Science / project summary
Clouds play a critical role in the radiation budget and climate of the Arctic, but the origin of the particles on which these cloud droplets form is a relative unknown. This research project will provide an opportunity to take specialized measurements of microscopic particles onboard an ice breaker in the Arctic Ocean. By understanding the sources of cloud particles, scientists will be better able to determine whether cloud conditions will change in a world with less sea ice, and thus improve long-term forecasts of climate in this critical part of the world. Education and outreach activities will also be conducted during the project, including an online photo blog during the research cruise. The research team will investigate the origin of fine particle aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei over the summertime high Arctic Ocean. Field measurements will be taken from the Swedish icebreaker Oden during August-September 2018. The Thermal Desorption Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer will be deployed to measure the composition of ambient size-resolved 10-200nm diameter aerosols, targeting the accumulation, Aitken and nucleation modes. Total ambient sub-micron aerosols will also be collected using a Particle into Liquid Sampler (PILS) and subsequently analyzed offline. The goal of the project is to measure the relative contributions to Arctic aerosol of biogenic polysaccharide material, sea salt, other organics, and other salts, on a size-resolved basis. A successful project would result in determining what processes are responsible for aerosols of different sizes, which would lead to the ability to infer the most important CCN sources in the region.