Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Smith group uncovers new pathways for atmospheric aerosol growth

Thu, 05/26/2016

AirUCI faculty Jim Smith and his Ultrafine Aerosol Research Group, collaborating with an international research team at the CERN CLOUD chamber, describe two new mechanisms for the growth of newly formed atmospheric aerosol particles in recent articles that appear in the journals Nature Communications and Nature:

  • growth due to collisions of sulfuric acid clusters with newly formed particles (read it here)
  • growth by the condensation of highly oxidized, low volatility organic compounds (read it here)

In the latter study, a global model that incorporate these new results (see chart below) predicts that this process may contribute to as much as a 50% increase in the number of cloud condensation nuclei, thus potentially impacting global climate and precipitation patterns.