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Aerosols: Tiny Particles,

Big Impact

CONTENT
What is an aerosol?
What are the sources of aerosols?
Aerosol Size distribution
The Aerosol Modes
Atmospheric cycling of aerosols.
What role aerosols play in Earths atmosphere?
Three types of aerosols which affects the Earths
climate.
How do aerosols affect the climate?
Atmospheric lifetime of different size particles at
different levels of the atmosphere.
What is "global dimming" and how are aerosols
involved?
Aerosol sinks

What is an aerosol??
An aerosol is generally defined as a
suspension of liquid or solid particles in a
gas, with particle diameters in the range
of 10-910-4 m .
The most evident examples of aerosols in
the atmosphere are clouds, which consist
primarily of condensed water with
particle diameters on the order of
approximately 10 mm.
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What are the sources of


aerosols?
Aerosol particles are either emitted directly
to the atmosphere (primary aerosols) or
produced in the atmosphere from precursor
gases (secondary aerosols).
Primary aerosols consist of both inorganic
and organic components. Inorganic primary
aerosols are relatively large and originate
from sea spray, mineral dust, and
volcanoes.
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Sources and appearance of atmospheric aerosols.


Top: local and large scale air pollution. Sources include volcanic eruptions
(producing volcanic ash and sulphate), sea spray (sea salt and sulphate aerosols),
desert storms (mineral dust), savannah biomass burning (BC and OC), coal power
plants (fossil fuel BC and OC, sulphate, nitrate), ships (BC, OC, sulphates, nitrate),
cooking* (domestic BC and OC), road transport (sulphate, BC, VOCs yielding OC). (A)
sulphates, (B) soot, (C) fly ash, a product of coal combustion .
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Aerosol Size distribution


All properties of
aerosols
depend on
particle size,
thus it is the
most important
parameter to
study the
behavior of
aerosols.
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The Aerosol Modes


Nucleation(Aitken) mode
0.01-0.1 m

Accumulation mode 0.1-1 m

Coarse mode - >1 m

Atmospheric cycling of
aerosols.

What roles do aerosols


play in Earth's
atmosphere?
They act as cloud condensation nuclei.
They alter albedo (both directly and
indirectly via clouds) and hence Earth's
radiation budget.
They serve as catalysts or sites for
atmospheric chemistry reactions.
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Three types of aerosols


significantly affect the
Earth's climate.
Volcanic Aerosol
Desert Dust
Human-Made Aerosol
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How do aerosols affect the climate?

All atmospheric aerosols scatter


incoming solar radiation, and a
few aerosol types can also absorb
solar radiation.
Scattering Aerosols have cooling
effect.
Absorbing aerosols have warming
effect.
Absorbing aerosols are
particularly efficient when
positioned above clouds, which
are a main contributor to the
total reflection of solar radiation
back to space.

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The cloud albedo effect


Aerosols are vital for cloud formation because a
subset of them may serve as cloud condensation
nuclei (CCN).
An increased amount of aerosols may increase the
CCN number concentration and lead to more, but
smaller, cloud droplets for fixed liquid water
content.
This increases the albedo of the cloud, resulting in
enhanced reflection and a cooling effect, termed
the cloud albedo effect.
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Visibility and Aerosols

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Chemical composition
Atmospheric aerosols are generally
composed of variable amounts of sulphate,
nitrate, ammonium, sea salt, crustal
elements and carbonaceous compounds
(elemental and organic carbon) and other
organic materials.
The main precursors of sulphate component
in the troposphere are sulphur dioxide (SO 2)
emitted from anthropogenic sources and
volcanoes, and dimethyl sulphide (DMS) from
biogenic sources (marine planktons).

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Average fine particle composition


of aerosol types in urban area.

Average fine particle composition


of aerosol types in rural
continental region

Average fine particle composition of aerosol types in

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Atmospheric lifetime of different size particles at


different levels of the atmosphere .

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What is "global dimming" and how


are aerosols involved?
Since aerosols serve as cloud condensation
nuclei, an increase in aerosols could
generate more clouds. Clouds, of course,
have a very high albedo, and thus tend to
reflect even more incoming sunlight back
into space.
In each case, some sunlight would be
prevented from reaching Earth's surface,
the result would be an apparent dimming
of the sun as viewed from the planet's
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Water solubility
Atmospheric particles can also be
categorized by their water solubility, that
is, how well they dissolve in water.
Most water-soluble aerosol components are
hygroscopic and they can absorb water.
Highly soluble particles are for example
ammonium sulphate, ammonium nitrate
and sodium chloride. These particles are
efficient cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).
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Aerosol sinks
Aerosols are removed from the atmosphere by
sedimentation due to gravity and dry
deposition also called dry scavenging.
Aerosols are also removed by collision with
rain drops and snow flakes .The removal of
aerosols in-cloud and below-cloud bya. Precipitation is called wet deposition or wet
scavenging.
b. In an annual global mean, wet scavenging is
the dominant sink, which removes 80%-90%
of the aerosol mass. The remaining 10-20%
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HEALTH EFFECTS OF AEROSOLS


Our respiratory system is efficient at removing aerosols, but
if they fall
within particular size ranges, are highly concentrated, or
toxic, they may
cause adverse health effects. They may also deposit on skin
or eyes,
generally only causing irritation, though more toxic effects
may occur.
Very small particles may pass through the skin and enter
the body that
way. Soluble particles may dissolve and pass through the
skin.

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CONCLUSION:
The effect of aerosols on climate is an
area of active research.
The effect of aerosols on clouds and
climate is not as simple as "more
aerosols mean more clouds and greater
albedo and hence less light at the
surface.
Climate scientists must determine what
types of clouds are produced at what
altitudes by various combinations of
aerosols and thus cooling".
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REFERENCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_condensation
_nuclei
https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/
wg1/en/faq-2-1-figure-2.html
https://www.google.co.in/search?q=atmosp
heric+cycling+of+aerosols&tbm=isch&imgil
=UbIMLVOwLRkiNM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F
%252Fencrypted
http://www.aerosols.wustl.edu/education/Aer
osolBasics/What%20is%20an%20aerosol.htm
http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/ch
ap02/aerosol&climate.html
http://aerosol.ees.ufl.edu/atmos_aerosol/sectio
n02.html
http://www.google.co.in/url?
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23
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