Seasonality of the particle number concentration and size distribution: a global analysis retrieved from the network of Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) near-surface observatories - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Year : 2021

Seasonality of the particle number concentration and size distribution: a global analysis retrieved from the network of Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) near-surface observatories

Clémence Rose (1) , Martine Collaud Coen (2) , Elisabeth Andrews (3, 4) , Yong Lin (5) , Isaline Bossert (1, 6) , Cathrine Lund Myhre (5) , Thomas Tuch (7) , Alfred Wiedensohler (7) , Markus Fiebig (5) , Pasi Aalto (8) , Andrés Alastuey (9) , Elisabeth Alonso-Blanco (10) , Marcos Andrade (11) , Begoña Artíñano (10) , Todor Arsov (12) , Urs Baltensperger (13) , Susanne Bastian (14) , Olaf Bath (15) , Johan Paul Beukes (16) , Benjamin T Brem (13) , Nicolas Bukowiecki (13) , Juan Andrés Casquero-Vera (17) , Sébastien Conil (18) , Konstantinos Eleftheriadis (19) , Olivier Favez (20) , Harald Flentje (21) , Maria I Gini (19) , Francisco Javier Gómez-Moreno (10) , Martin Gysel-Beer (13) , Anna Gannet Hallar (22) , Ivo Kalapov (12) , Nikos Kalivitis (23) , Anne Kasper-Giebl (24) , Melita Keywood (25) , Jeong Eun Kim (26) , Sang-Woo Kim (27) , Adam Kristensson (28) , Markku Kulmala (8) , Heikki Lihavainen (29) , Neng-Huei Lin (30) , Hassan Lyamani (17) , Angela Marinoni (31) , Sebastiao Martins dos Santos (32) , Olga L Mayol-Bracero (33) , Frank Meinhardt (15) , Maik Merkel (7) , Jean-Marc Metzger (34) , Nikolaos Mihalopoulos (23, 35) , Jakub Ondracek (36) , Marco Pandolfi (9) , Noemi Pérez (9) , Tuukka Petäjä (8) , Jean-Eudes Petit (37, 38) , David Picard (1) , Jean-Marc Pichon (1) , Veronique Pont (39) , Jean-Philippe Putaud (32) , Fabienne Reisen (25) , Karine Sellegri (1) , Sangeeta Sharma (40) , Gerhard Schauer (41) , Patrick Sheridan (4) , James Patrick Sherman (42) , Andreas Schwerin (15) , Ralf Sohmer (15) , Mar Sorribas (43) , Junying Sun (44) , Pierre Tulet (45) , Ville Vakkari (16, 29) , Pieter Gideon van Zyl (16) , Fernando Velarde (11) , Paolo Villani (46) , Stergios Vratolis (19) , Zdenek Wagner (36) , Sheng-Hsiang Wang (30) , Kay Weinhold (47) , Rolf Weller (48) , Margarita Yela (43) , Vladimir Zdimal (36) , Paolo Laj (49, 31, 8)
1 LaMP - Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique
2 Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss
3 CIRES - Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
4 NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
5 NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research
6 UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE]
7 TROPOS - Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research
8 INAR - Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research
9 IDAEA - Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research
10 CIEMAT - Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas
11 UMSA - Universidad Mayor de San Andrés
12 Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
13 PSI - Paul Scherrer Institute
14 Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology
15 UBA - German Federal Environmental Agency / Umweltbundesamt
16 NWU - North-West University [Potchefstroom]
17 UGR - Universidad de Granada = University of Granada
18 ANDRA - Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs
19 NCSR “Demokritos” - Environmental Radioactivity Lab, Institute of Nuclear and Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety, NCSR “Demokritos”
20 INERIS - Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques
21 Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg (MOHp)
22 University of Utah
23 ECPL - Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory [Heraklion]
24 TU Wien - Vienna University of Technology
25 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
26 NIMS - National Institute of Meteorological Sciences
27 SNU - Seoul National University [Seoul]
28 Division of Nuclear Physics
29 FMI - Finnish Meteorological Institute
30 NCU - National Central University [Taiwan]
31 ISAC - CNR Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
32 JRC - European Commission - Joint Research Centre [Ispra]
33 UPR-RP - University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras Campus
34 OSU-Réunion - Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de La Réunion
35 NOA - National Observatory of Athens
36 Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the ASCR, Czech Republic
37 LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette]
38 CAE - Chimie Atmosphérique Expérimentale
39 LAERO - Laboratoire d'aérologie
40 Environment and Climate Change Canada
41 ZAMG - Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
42 Appalachian State University
43 Atmospheric Sounding Station "El Arenosillo"
44 State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
45 LACy - Laboratoire de l'Atmosphère et des Cyclones
46 4S Company
47 TROPOS - Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung
48 AWI - Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
49 IGE - Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement
Clémence Rose
Yong Lin
Markus Fiebig
Marcos Andrade
Benjamin T Brem
Nicolas Bukowiecki
Martin Gysel-Beer
Melita Keywood
Sang-Woo Kim
Heikki Lihavainen
Paolo Villani
  • Function : Author
Sheng-Hsiang Wang


Aerosol particles are a complex component of the atmospheric system which influence climate directly by interacting with solar radiation, and indirectly by contributing to cloud formation. The variety of their sources, as well as the multiple transformations they may undergo during their transport (including wet and dry deposition), result in significant spatial and temporal variability of their properties. Documenting this variability is essential to provide a proper representation of aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in climate models. Using measurements conducted in 2016 or 2017 at 62 ground-based stations around the world, this study provides the most up-to-date picture of the spatial distribution of particle number concentration (Ntot) and number size distribution (PNSD, from 39 sites). A sensitivity study was first performed to assess the impact of data availability on Ntot's annual and seasonal statistics, as well as on the analysis of its diel cycle. Thresholds of 50 % and 60 % were set at the seasonal and annual scale, respectively, for the study of the corresponding statistics, and a slightly higher coverage (75 %) was required to document the diel cycle. Although some observations are common to a majority of sites, the variety of environments characterizing these stations made it possible to highlight contrasting findings, which, among other factors, seem to be significantly related to the level of anthropogenic influence. The concentrations measured at polar sites are the lowest (∼ 102 cm−3) and show a clear seasonality, which is also visible in the shape of the PNSD, while diel cycles are in general less evident, due notably to the absence of a regular day–night cycle in some seasons. In contrast, the concentrations characteristic of urban environments are the highest (∼ 103–104 cm−3) and do not show pronounced seasonal variations, whereas diel cycles tend to be very regular over the year at these stations. The remaining sites, including mountain and non-urban continental and coastal stations, do not exhibit as obvious common behaviour as polar and urban sites and display, on average, intermediate Ntot (∼ 102–103 cm−3). Particle concentrations measured at mountain sites, however, are generally lower compared to nearby lowland sites, and tend to exhibit somewhat more pronounced seasonal variations as a likely result of the strong impact of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) influence in connection with the topography of the sites. ABL dynamics also likely contribute to the diel cycle of Ntot observed at these stations. Based on available PNSD measurements, CCN-sized particles (considered here as either >50 nm or >100 nm) can represent from a few percent to almost all of Ntot, corresponding to seasonal medians on the order of ∼ 10 to 1000 cm−3, with seasonal patterns and a hierarchy of the site types broadly similar to those observed for Ntot. Overall, this work illustrates the importance of in situ measurements, in particular for the study of aerosol physical properties, and thus strongly supports the development of a broad global network of near surface observatories to increase and homogenize the spatial coverage of the measurements, and guarantee as well data availability and quality. The results of this study also provide a valuable, freely available and easy to use support for model comparison and validation, with the ultimate goal of contributing to improvement of the representation of aerosol–cloud interactions in models, and, therefore, of the evaluation of the impact of aerosol particles on climate.
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Dates and versions

hal-03464645 , version 1 (07-12-2021)





Clémence Rose, Martine Collaud Coen, Elisabeth Andrews, Yong Lin, Isaline Bossert, et al.. Seasonality of the particle number concentration and size distribution: a global analysis retrieved from the network of Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) near-surface observatories. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2021, 21, pp.17185 - 17223. ⟨10.5194/acp-21-17185-2021⟩. ⟨hal-03464645⟩
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