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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Common Assumptions Regarding Aerosol Composition and Mixing State on Predicted CCN Concentration

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 54;
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphology and Internal Mixing of Atmospheric Particles)
A 4-year record of aerosol size and hygroscopic growth factor distributions measured at the Department of Energy’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma, U.S. were used to estimate supersaturation (S)-dependent cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (NCCN). Baseline or reference NCCN(S) spectra were estimated using κ-Köhler Theory without any averaging of the measured distributions by creating matrices of size- and hygroscopicity-dependent number concentration (N) and then integrating for S > critical supersaturation (Sc) calculated for the same size and hygroscopicity pairs. Those estimates were first compared with directly measured NCCN at the same site. Subsequently, NCCN was calculated using the same dataset but with an array of simplified treatments in which the aerosol was assumed to be either an internal or an external mixture and the hygroscopicity either assumed or based on averages derived from the growth factor distributions. The CCN spectra calculated using the simplified treatments were compared with those calculated using the baseline approach to evaluate the error introduced with commonly used approximations. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol; CCN; hygroscopicity; mixing state aerosol; CCN; hygroscopicity; mixing state
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Mahish, M.; Jefferson, A.; Collins, D.R. Influence of Common Assumptions Regarding Aerosol Composition and Mixing State on Predicted CCN Concentration. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 54.

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