The dynamic surface tension of atmospheric aerosol surfactants reveals new aspects of cloud activation
2014 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 5, 3335- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The activation of aerosol particles into cloud droplets in the Earth's atmosphere is both a key process for the climate budget and a main source of uncertainty. Its investigation is facing major experimental challenges, as no technique can measure the main driving parameters, the Raoult's term and surface tension, sigma, for sub-micron atmospheric particles. In addition, the surfactant fraction of atmospheric aerosols could not be isolated until recently. Here we present the first dynamic investigation of the total surfactant fraction of atmospheric aerosols, evidencing adsorption barriers that limit their gradient (partitioning) in particles and should enhance their cloud-forming efficiency compared with current models. The results also show that the equilibration time of surfactants in sub-micron atmospheric particles should be beyond the detection of most on-line instruments. Such instrumental and theoretical shortcomings would be consistent with atmospheric and laboratory observations and could have limited the understanding of cloud activation until now.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, 3335- p.
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102795DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4335ISI: 000332668900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102795DiVA: diva2:713497