Evidence of convection as a major source of condensation nuclei in the northern midlatitude upper troposphere

Y. Wang, S. C. Liu, B. E. Anderson, Y. Kondo, G. L. Gregory, G. W. Sachse, S. A. Vay, D. R. Blake, H. B. Singh, A. M. Thompson

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Abstract

We examine concurrent measurements of CN (size > 8 nm), NO, and NO(y) in the upper troposphere over the North Atlantic during the SONEX Experiment (Oct.-Nov., 1997). High CN and NO(y) observations are attributed largely to the enhancement in convective outflow. Using the ratio of NO/NO(y) as a chemical clock, we estimate that dilution of convective high-CN plumes is rapid (on a time scale of <2 days) and accounts for a large fraction of elevated CN concentrations above the background. We estimate that less than 7% of observed high-CN (> 10000 cm−3) plumes may be attributed to aircraft emissions. The contribution by aircraft emissions to upper tropospheric CN concentrations is estimated to be significantly higher than 7% because aircraft plumes dilute much faster than convective plumes and hence are sampled less frequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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    Wang, Y., Liu, S. C., Anderson, B. E., Kondo, Y., Gregory, G. L., Sachse, G. W., Vay, S. A., Blake, D. R., Singh, H. B., & Thompson, A. M. (2000). Evidence of convection as a major source of condensation nuclei in the northern midlatitude upper troposphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 27(3), 369-372. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1460-9568.2000.01311.x