Size Matters More Than Chemistry for Cloud-Nucleating Ability of Aerosol Particles

Ulrike Dusek, Göran Frank, Lea Hildebrandt, Joachim Curtius, Johannes Schneider, Saskia Walter, Duli Chand, Frank Drewnick, Silke Hings, D Jung, Stephan Borrmann, Meinrat O. Andreae

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Size-resolved cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectra measured for various aerosol types at a
    non-urban site in Germany showed that CCN concentrations are mainly determined by the aerosol
    number size distribution. Distinct variations of CCN activation with particle chemical composition
    were observed but played a secondary role. When the temporal variation of chemical effects on
    CCN activation is neglected, variation in the size distribution alone explains 84 to 96% of the
    variation in CCN concentrations. Understanding that particles’ ability to act as CCN is largely
    controlled by aerosol size rather than composition greatly facilitates the treatment of aerosol
    effects on cloud physics in regional and global models.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1375-1378
    Issue number5778
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Bibliographical note

    The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
    The record was previously connected to the following departments: Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Subatomic Physics


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