Authors

G.W. Mann, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
K.S. Carslaw, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
C.L. Reddington, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
K.J. Pringle, University of Leeds, United Kingdom; Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
M. Schulz, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
A. Asmi, Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland
D.V. Spracklen, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
D.A. Ridley, University of Leeds, United Kingdom; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.T. Woodhouse, University of Leeds, United Kingdom; CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, VIC, Australia
L.A. Lee, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
K. Zhang, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
S.J. Ghan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
R.C. Easter, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
Xiaohong Liu, University of Wyoming; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
P. Stier, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Y.H. Lee, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York
P.J. Adams, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
H. Tost, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
J. Lelieveld, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany; Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
S.E. Bauer, Columbia University; NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York
K. Tsigaridis, Columbia University; NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York
T.P.C. Van Noije, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, Netherlands
A. Strunk, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, Netherlands
E. Vignati, EU Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
N. Bellouin, University of Reading, United Kingdom
M. Dalvi, Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, United Kingdom
C.E. Johnson, Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, United Kingdom
T. Bergman, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio Unit, Kuopio, Finland
H. Kokkola, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio Unit, Kuopio, Finland
K. Von Salzen, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment Canada, Canada
F. Yu, NY State University, Albany
G. Luo, NY State University, Albany
A. Petzold, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany; Forschungszentrum Juelich, IEK-8 Troposphere, Juelich, Germany
J. Heintzenberg, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
A. Clarke, University of Hawaii
J.A. Ogren, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, CO
J. Gras, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, VIC, Australia
U. Baltensperger, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland
U. Kaminski, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Germany
S.G. Jennings, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
C.D. O'Dowd, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
R.M. Harrison, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
D.C.S. Beddows, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
M. Kulmala, University of Helsinki, Finland
Y. Viisanen, Helsinki University, Finland
V. Ulevicius, Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Vilnius, Lithuania
N. Mihalopoulos, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
V. Zdimal, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Rozvojova, Prague, Czech Republic
M. Fiebig, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Norway
H. - C. Hansson, Stockholm University, Sweden
E. Swietlicki, Lund University, Sweden
J.S. Henzing, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Utrecht, Netherlands

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-13-2014

Abstract

Many of the next generation of global climate models will include aerosol schemes which explicitly simulate the microphysical processes that determine the particle size distribution. These models enable aerosol optical properties and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations to be determined by fundamental aerosol processes, which should lead to a more physically based simulation of aerosol direct and indirect radiative forcings. This study examines the global variation in particle size distribution simulated by 12 global aerosol microphysics models to quantify model diversity and to identify any common biases against observations. Evaluation against size distribution measurements from a new European network of aerosol supersites shows that the mean model agrees quite well with the observations at many sites on the annual mean, but there are some seasonal biases common to many sites. In particular, at many of these European sites, the accumulation mode number concentration is biased low during winter and Aitken mode concentrations tend to be overestimated in winter and underestimated in summer. At high northern latitudes, the models strongly underpredict Aitken and accumulation particle concentrations compared to the measurements, consistent with previous studies that have highlighted the poor performance of global aerosol models in the Arctic. In the marine boundary layer, the models capture the observed meridional variation in the size distribution, which is dominated by the Aitken mode at high latitudes, with an increasing concentration of accumulation particles with decreasing latitude. Considering vertical profiles, the models reproduce the observed peak in total particle concentrations in the upper troposphere due to new particle formation, although modelled peak concentrations tend to be biased high over Europe. Overall, the multi-model-mean data set simulates the global variation of the particle size distribution with a good degree of skill, suggesting that most of the individual global aerosol microphysics models are performing well, although the large model diversity indicates that some models are in poor agreement with the observations. Further work is required to better constrain size-resolved primary and secondary particle number sources, and an improved understanding of nucleation and growth (e.g. the role of nitrate and secondary organics) will improve the fidelity of simulated particle size distributions. © 2014 Author(s).

DOI

10.5194/acp-14-4679-2014

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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