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Reduced anthropogenic aerosol radiative forcing caused by biogenic new particle formation

Gordon, Hamish and Craven, Jill S. and Flagan, Richard C. and Seinfeld, John H. and Zhang, Xuan (2016) Reduced anthropogenic aerosol radiative forcing caused by biogenic new particle formation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (43). pp. 12053-12058. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC5087035. doi:10.1073/pnas.1602360113.

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The magnitude of aerosol radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions depends on the baseline state of the atmosphere under pristine preindustrial conditions. Measurements show that particle formation in atmospheric conditions can occur solely from biogenic vapors. Here, we evaluate the potential effect of this source of particles on preindustrial cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations and aerosol–cloud radiative forcing over the industrial period. Model simulations show that the pure biogenic particle formation mechanism has a much larger relative effect on CCN concentrations in the preindustrial atmosphere than in the present atmosphere because of the lower aerosol concentrations. Consequently, preindustrial cloud albedo is increased more than under present day conditions, and therefore the cooling forcing of anthropogenic aerosols is reduced. The mechanism increases CCN concentrations by 20–100% over a large fraction of the preindustrial lower atmosphere, and the magnitude of annual global mean radiative forcing caused by changes of cloud albedo since 1750 is reduced by 0.22 W m^(−2) (27%) to −0.60 W m^(−2). Model uncertainties, relatively slow formation rates, and limited available ambient measurements make it difficult to establish the significance of a mechanism that has its dominant effect under preindustrial conditions. Our simulations predict more particle formation in the Amazon than is observed. However, the first observation of pure organic nucleation has now been reported for the free troposphere. Given the potentially significant effect on anthropogenic forcing, effort should be made to better understand such naturally driven aerosol processes.

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URLURL TypeDescription Material CentralArticle
Gordon, Hamish0000-0002-1822-3224
Flagan, Richard C.0000-0001-5690-770X
Seinfeld, John H.0000-0003-1344-4068
Zhang, Xuan0000-0003-1548-8021
Additional Information:© 2016 National Academy of Sciences. Edited by Joyce E. Penner, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and accepted by Editorial Board Member A. R. Ravishankara August 20, 2016 (received for review February 19, 2016). Published online before print October 10, 2016, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1602360113 We thank P. Carrie, L.-P. De Menezes, J. Dumollard, F. Josa, I. Krasin, R. Kristic, A. Laassiri, O. S. Maksumov, B. Marichy, H. Martinati, S. V. Mizin, R. Sitals, A. Wasem, and M. Wilhelmsson for their important contributions to the experiment. We also thank D. Veber from Environment and Climate Change Canada for maintenance and calibrations of instruments at East Trout Lake and the Earth System Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for collaboration with data collection and quality assurance and control software. We thank A. D. Clarke and C. L. S. Reddington for making available processed data from the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) campaign. We thank the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for supporting CLOUD with important technical and financial resources and providing a particle beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron. The global modelling simulations were performed on Advanced Research Computing (ARC) high-performance computers at the University of Leeds. This research has received funding from the European Commission (EC) Seventh Framework and Horizon 2020 Programmes [Marie Curie Initial Training Network (MC-ITN) CLOUD-TRAIN Grant 316662, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grants 656994 and 600377, European Research Council (ERC)-Consolidator Grant NANODYNAMITE 616075, and ERC-Advanced Grant ATMNUCLE 227463]; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research Project 01LK1222A; Swiss National Science Foundation Projects 200020_135307, 200021_140663, 206021_144947/1, and 20FI20_149002/1; Academy of Finland Center of Excellence Project 1118615; Academy of Finland Grants 135054, 133872, 251427, 139656, 139995, 137749, 141217, and 141451; the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation; the Väisälä Foundation; the Nessling Foundation; Austrian Science Fund Project L593; Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology Project CERN/FP/116387/2010; Swedish Research Council, Vetenskapsrådet Grant 2011-5120; Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grant 12-02-91522-CERN; United Kingdom Natural Environment Research Council Grant NE/K015966/1; the Royal Society (Wolfson Merit Award); National Science Foundation Grants AGS1136479, AGS1439551, AGS1447056, and CHE1012293; Caltech Environmental Science and Engineering Grant (Davidow Foundation); Dreyfus Award EP-11-117; the French National Research Agency; the Nord-Pas de Calais; and European Funds for Regional Economic Development Labex-Cappa Grant ANR-11-LABX-0005-01. Author contributions: H.G., K.S., J. Kirkby, A.O., U.B., M. Kulmala, J.C., and K.S.C. designed research; H.G., K.S., A.R., J.A., J. Kirkby, S.A.M., K.J.P., N.A.D.R., C.E.S., S. Sharma, and K.S.C. performed research; H.G., K.S., J. Duplissy, C. Frege, C.W., M.H., M. Simon, C.Y., J.A., J.T., T.N., I.K.O., R.W., E.M.D., A. Adamov, A. Amorim, A.-K.B., F.B., M.B., S.B., X.C., J.S.C., A.D., S.E., L.F., R.C.F., A.F., C. Fuchs, R.G., J.H., C.R.H., T.J., H.J., J. Kangasluoma, J. Kim, J. Kirkby, M. Krapf, A.K., A.L., K.L., V.M., S.M., U.M., O.P., F.P., T.P., A.P.P., K.J.P., M.P.R., L.R., N.S., S. Schobesberger, J.H.S., S. Sharma, M. Sipilä, G.S., Y.S., F.S., A.T., A.V., A.L.V., A.C.W., P.E.W., E.W., D.R.W., P.M.W., P.Y., X.Z., A.H., J. Dommen, N.M.D., D.R.W., U.B., M. Kulmala, J.C., and K.S.C. collected data; and H.G., J. Kirkby, N.M.D., and K.S.C. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. J.E.P. is a Guest Editor invited by the Editorial Board. This article contains supporting information online at
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Marie Curie Fellowship316662
Marie Curie Fellowship656994
Marie Curie Fellowship600377
European Research Council (ERC)616075
European Research Council (ERC)227463
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)01LK1222A
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)200020_135307
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)200021_140663
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)206021_144947/1
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)20FI20_149002/1
Academy of Finland1118615
Academy of Finland135054
Academy of Finland133872
Academy of Finland251427
Academy of Finland139656
Academy of Finland139995
Academy of Finland137749
Academy of Finland141217
Academy of Finland141451
Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Väisälä FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Nessling FoundationUNSPECIFIED
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsL593
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)CERN/FP/116387/2010
Russian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Russian Foundation for Basic Research12-02-91522-CERN
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/K015966/1
Davidow FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Camille and Henry Dreyfus FoundationEP-11-117
Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)ANR-11-LABX-0005-01
Nord-Pas de CalaisUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:aerosol; biogenic; forcing; climate
Issue or Number:43
PubMed Central ID:PMC5087035
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161013-104431240
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hamish Gordon, Kamalika Sengupta, Alexandru Rap, Jonathan Duplissy, Carla Frege, Christina Williamson, Martin Heinritzi, Mario Simon, Chao Yan, João Almeida, Jasmin Tröstl, Tuomo Nieminen, Ismael K. Ortega, Robert Wagner, Eimear M. Dunne, Alexey Adamov, Antonio Amorim, Anne-Kathrin Bernhammer, Federico Bianchi, Martin Breitenlechner, Sophia Brilke, Xuemeng Chen, Jill S. Craven, Antonio Dias, Sebastian Ehrhart, Lukas Fischer, Richard C. Flagan, Alessandro Franchin, Claudia Fuchs, Roberto Guida, Jani Hakala, Christopher R. Hoyle, Tuija Jokinen, Heikki Junninen, Juha Kangasluoma, Jaeseok Kim, Jasper Kirkby, Manuel Krapf, Andreas Kürten, Ari Laaksonen, Katrianne Lehtipalo, Vladimir Makhmutov, Serge Mathot, Ugo Molteni, Sarah A. Monks, Antti Onnela, Otso Peräkylä, Felix Piel, Tuukka Petäjä, Arnaud P. Praplan, Kirsty J. Pringle, Nigel A. D. Richards, Matti P. Rissanen, Linda Rondo, Nina Sarnela, Siegfried Schobesberger, Catherine E. Scott, John H. Seinfeld, Sangeeta Sharma, Mikko Sipilä, Gerhard Steiner, Yuri Stozhkov, Frank Stratmann, Antonio Tomé, Annele Virtanen, Alexander Lucas Vogel, Andrea C. Wagner, Paul E. Wagner, Ernest Weingartner, Daniela Wimmer, Paul M. Winkler, Penglin Ye, Xuan Zhang, Armin Hansel, Josef Dommen, Neil M. Donahue, Douglas R. Worsnop, Urs Baltensperger, Markku Kulmala, Joachim Curtius, and Kenneth S. Carslaw Reduced anthropogenic aerosol radiative forcing caused by biogenic new particle formation PNAS 2016 113 (43) 12053-12058; published ahead of print October 10, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1602360113
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:71046
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Oct 2016 20:46
Last Modified:14 Apr 2022 17:09

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