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Published November 4, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Constraining the contribution of organic acids and AMS m/z 44 to the organic aerosol budget: On the importance of meteorology, aerosol hygroscopicity, and region


Airborne measurements in regions of varying meteorology and pollution are used to quantify the contribution of organic acids and a mass spectral marker for oxygenated aerosols, m/z 44, to the total organic aerosol budget. Organic acids and m/z 44 separately are shown to exhibit their highest organic mass fractions in the vicinity of clouds. The contribution of such oxygenated species is shown to increase as a function of relative humidity, aerosol hygroscopicity (and decreasing organic mass fraction), and is typically greater off the California coast versus the continental atmospheres studied. Reasons include more efficient chemistry and partitioning of organic acid precursors with increasing water in the reaction medium, and high aqueous-phase processing times in boundary layers with higher cloud volume fractions. These results highlight the importance of secondary organic aerosol formation in both wet aerosols and cloud droplets.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Geophysical Union. Received 8 August 2010; revised 14 September 2010; accepted 21 September 2010; published 4 November 2010. AS acknowledges support from an Office of Naval Research YIP award (N00014‐10‐1‐0811). SMM acknowledges a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship and a NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. The aircraft measurements were supported by NOAA grant NA06OAR4310082, ONR grant N00014‐04‐1‐0118, and NSF grant ATM‐0340832. The authors acknowledge Barbara Ervens for helpful discussions.

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Published - Sorooshian2010p12033Geophys_Res_Lett.pdf


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