Using measurements of CCN activity to characterize the mixing state, chemical composition, and droplet growth kinetics of atmospheric aerosols to constrain the aerosol indirect effect

dc.contributor.advisor Nenes, Athanasios
dc.contributor.author Moore, Richard Herbert en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Grover, Martha
dc.contributor.committeeMember Huey, Greg
dc.contributor.committeeMember Teja, Amyn
dc.contributor.committeeMember Weber, Rodney
dc.contributor.department Chemical Engineering en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-01-17T22:06:11Z
dc.date.available 2013-01-17T22:06:11Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11-14 en_US
dc.description.abstract Atmospheric aerosols are known to exert a significant influence on the Earth's climate system; however, the magnitude of this influence is highly uncertain because of the complex interaction between aerosols and water vapor to form clouds. Toward reducing this uncertainty, this dissertation outlines a series of laboratory and in-situ field measurements, instrument technique development, and model simulations designed to characterize the ability of aerosols to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and form cloud droplets. Specifically, we empirically quantify the mixing state and thermodynamic properties of organic aerosols (e.g., hygroscopicity and droplet condensational uptake coefficient) measured in polluted and non-polluted environments including Alaska, California, and Georgia. It is shown that organic aerosols comprise a substantial portion of the aerosol mass and are often water soluble. CCN measurements are compared to predictions from theory in order to determine the error associated with simplified composition and mixing state assumptions employed by current large-scale models, and these errors are used to constrain the uncertainty of global and regional cloud droplet number and albedo using a recently-developed cloud droplet parameterization adjoint coupled with the GMI chemical transport model. These sensitivities are important because they describe the main determinants of climate forcing. We also present two novel techniques for fast measurements of CCN concentrations with high size, supersaturation, and temporal resolution that substantially improve the state of the art by several orders of magnitude. Ultimately, this work represents a step toward better understanding how atmospheric aerosols influence cloud properties and Earth's climate. en_US
dc.description.degree PhD en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1853/45945
dc.publisher Georgia Institute of Technology en_US
dc.subject Climate change en_US
dc.subject Aerosol en_US
dc.subject Cloud condensation nuclei en_US
dc.subject Instrumentation en_US
dc.subject Hygroscopicity en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Atmospheric aerosols
dc.subject.lcsh Atmospheric chemistry
dc.subject.lcsh Climatic changes
dc.subject.lcsh Cloud physics
dc.title Using measurements of CCN activity to characterize the mixing state, chemical composition, and droplet growth kinetics of atmospheric aerosols to constrain the aerosol indirect effect en_US
dc.type Text
dc.type.genre Dissertation
dspace.entity.type Publication
local.contributor.advisor Nenes, Athanasios
local.contributor.corporatename School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
local.contributor.corporatename College of Engineering
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relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication 7c022d60-21d5-497c-b552-95e489a06569
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