The strategic focus of the Aerosol Life Cycle research is observation-based process science; examining the properties and evolution of atmospheric aerosols. Observations derive from both long-term ARM measurements and short-term field campaigns (referred to in ARM as Intensive Observation Periods or IOPs), and much insight is gained also from laboratory investigations.
Process-based science centers on two identified strategic process-science foci: aerosol nucleation and growth and aerosol aging and mixing state. BNL is the lead laboratory responsible for the design and construction of Aerosol Observing Systems (AOSs) to carry out long-term aerosol measurements within the ARM Climate Research Facility.
The Aerosol Group at BNL continues to have a leadership role in the design, planning, and organization of field studies and ARM Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs). As to specific campaigns: last summer we led the Aerosol Life Cycle IOP conducted at BNL, we are leading the MAGIC campaign, we have submitted a proposal for a campaign on biomass burning (see below), and we have a leadership role in the GOAMAZON field campaigns approved for 2014 and extension pending for 2015.
One of our goals is to participate in the development of the next generation of instruments through collaborations with universities and with private industry. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) is being sought to promote industrial collaboration and IOPs offer the chance to field more state-of-art instrumentation.
To promote an observation-based focus for aerosol research, our strategy is to include observations from other agencies (e.g. NASA, NOAA) while maintaining strong ARM focus. New approaches to data analysis are being developed towards process-level understanding and determination of the key factors that control aerosol mass loading, size distribution, chemical composition, and radiative and cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) properties.
Uncertainty in the representation of atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and growth in models can lead to large uncertainty in the assessment of aerosol indirect effects on climate. The enhanced formation of secondary organic aerosols remains a puzzle and interactions between biogenic and anthropogenic emissions need to be much better quantified and understood. Given its core capabilities and strengths, the BNL Aerosol Group is a world leader in this focus area and will strive to strengthen this position.
Key questions to be addressed under this focus are: What controls the occurrence and rate of NPF and growth, and what are the affects of NPF and growth on the impact of aerosols on climate?
This important focus aims at understanding how the various processes that control aerosol lifecycle interact and contribute to climate. Emphasis is on quantifying the evolution of aerosol optical and cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) properties. In this context, growth by secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation is perhaps the single most important puzzle in aerosol life cycle and the one most difficult to represent/quantify in models.
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