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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-193
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
A New Method for Calculating Number Concentrations of Cloud Condensation Nulcei Based on Measurements of A Three-wavelength Humidified Nephelometer System
Jiangchuan Tao1, Chunsheng Zhao1, Ye Kuang1, Gang Zhao1, Chuanyang Shen1, Yingli Yu1, Yuxuan Bian2, and Wanyun Xu2 1Laboratory for Climate and Ocean-Atmosphere Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
2State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences
Abstract. The number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) plays a fundamental role in cloud physics. Instrumentations of direct measurements of CCN number concentration (NCCN) based on chamber technology are complex and costly, thus a simple way for measuring NCCN is needed. In this study, a new method for NCCN calculation based on measurements of a three-wavelength humidified nephelometer system is proposed. A three-wavelength humidified nephelometer system can measure aerosol light scattering coefficient (σsp) at three wavelengths and the light scattering enhancement factor (fRH). The Angstrom exponent (Å) inferred from σsp at three wavelengths provides information on mean predominate aerosol size and hygroscopicity parameter (κ) can be calculated from the combination of fRH and Å. Given this, a look-up table that involves σsp, κ and Å is established to predict NCCN. This method is validated with direct measurements of NCCN using a CCN counter on the North China Plain. Results show that relative deviations between calculated NCCN and measured NCCN are within 30 % and confirm the robustness of this method. This method enables simpler NCCN measurements because the humidified nephelometer system is easily operated and stable. Compared with the method of CCN counter, another advantage of this newly proposed method is that it can obtain NCCN at lower supersaturations in the ambient atmosphere.

Citation: Tao, J., Zhao, C., Kuang, Y., Zhao, G., Shen, C., Yu, Y., Bian, Y., and Xu, W.: A New Method for Calculating Number Concentrations of Cloud Condensation Nulcei Based on Measurements of A Three-wavelength Humidified Nephelometer System, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-193, in review, 2017.
Jiangchuan Tao et al.
Jiangchuan Tao et al.
Jiangchuan Tao et al.

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Short summary
Existing chamber technologies for direct measurements of number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (NCCN) are sophisticated and expensive. In this paper, a new method is proposed to calculate NCCN based only on measurements of a humidified nephelometer system which have accounted influences of both aerosol size and aerosol hygroscopicity on NCCN calculation. This new method makes NCCN measurements more convenient and is capable of obtaining NCCN at lower supersaturations.
Existing chamber technologies for direct measurements of number concentration of cloud...
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