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Published October 27, 2003 | public
Journal Article

Toward aerosol/cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) closure during CRYSTAL-FACE


During July 2002, measurements of cloud condensation nuclei were made in the vicinity of southwest Florida as part of the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE) field campaign. These observations, at supersaturations of 0.2 and 0.85%, are presented here. The performance of each of the two CCN counters was validated through laboratory calibration and an in situ intercomparison. The measurements indicate that the aerosol sampled during the campaign was predominantly marine in character: the median concentrations were 233 cm⁻³ (at S = 0.2%) and 371 cm⁻³ (at S = 0.85%). Three flights during the experiment differed from this general trend; the aerosol sampled during the two flights on 18 July was more continental in character, and the observations on 28 July indicate high spatial variability and periods of very high aerosol concentrations. This study also includes a simplified aerosol/CCN closure analysis. Aerosol size distributions were measured simultaneously with the CCN observations, and these data are used to predict a CCN concentration using Köhler theory. For the purpose of this analysis, an idealized composition of pure ammonium sulfate was assumed. The analysis indicates that in this case, there was good general agreement between the predicted and observed CCN concentrations: at S = 0.2%, N_(predicted)/N_(observed) = 1.047 (R² = 0.911); at S = 0.85%, N_(predicted)/N_(observed) = 1.201 (R² = 0.835). The impacts of the compositional assumption and of including in-cloud data in the analysis are addressed. The effect of removing the data from the 28 July flight is also examined; doing so improves the result of the closure analysis at S = 0.85%. When omitting that atypical flight, N_(predicted)/N_(observed) = 1.085 (R² = 0.770) at S = 0.85%.

Additional Information

The authors acknowledge Athanasios Nenes for assistance with simulating the performance of the CCN instruments. This work was supported by National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant NAG5-11549 and the Office of Naval Research.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 25, 2023