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Atmospheric data over a solar cycle: no connection between galactic cosmic rays and new particle formation

Kulmala, Markku and Riipinen, Ilona and Nieminen, Tuomo and Hulkkonen, Mira and Sogacheva, Larisa and Manninen, Hanna E. and Paasonen, Pauli and Petäjä, Tuukka and Dal Maso, Miikka and Aalto, Pasi P. and Viljanen, Ari and Usoskin, Ilya and Vainio, Rami and Mirme, Sander and Mirme, Aadu and Minikin, Andreas and Petzold, Andreas and Horrak, Urmas and Plaß-Dülmer, Christian and Birmili, Wolfram and Kerminen, Veli-Matti (2010) Atmospheric data over a solar cycle: no connection between galactic cosmic rays and new particle formation. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, pp. 1885-1898.

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Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/1885/2010/


Aerosol particles affect the Earth�s radiative balance by directly scattering and absorbing solar radiation and, indirectly, through their activation into cloud droplets. Both effects are known with considerable uncertainty only, and translate into even bigger uncertainties in future climate predictions. More than a decade ago, variations in galactic cosmic rays were suggested to closely correlate with variations in atmospheric cloud cover and therefore constitute a driving force behind aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. Later, the enhancement of atmospheric aerosol particle formation by ions generated from cosmic rays was proposed as a physical mechanism explaining this correlation. Here, we report unique observations on atmospheric aerosol formation based on measurements at the SMEAR II station, Finland, over a solar cycle (years 1996�2008) that shed new light on these presumed relationships. Our analysis shows that none of the quantities related to aerosol formation correlates with the cosmic ray-induced ionisation intensity (CRII). We also examined the contribution of ions to new particle formation on the basis of novel ground-based and airborne observations. A consistent result is that ion-induced formation contributes typically less than 10% to the number of new particles, which would explain the missing correlation between CRII and aerosol formation. Our main conclusion is that galactic cosmic rays appear to play a minor role for atmospheric aerosol formation, and so for the connected aerosol-climate effects as well.

Document Type:Article
Title:Atmospheric data over a solar cycle: no connection between galactic cosmic rays and new particle formation
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Kulmala, MarkkuUniv. of Helsinki
Riipinen, IlonaUniv. of Helsinki
Nieminen, TuomoUniv. of Helsinki
Hulkkonen, MiraUniv. of Helsinki
Sogacheva, LarisaUniv. of Helsinki
Manninen, Hanna E.Univ. of Helsinki
Paasonen, PauliUniv. of Helsinki
Petäjä, TuukkaUniv. of Helsinki
Dal Maso, MiikkaUniv. of Helsinki
Aalto, Pasi P.Univ. of Helsinki
Viljanen, AriFMI, Helsinki
Usoskin, IlyaUniv. of Oulu, Sodankylä, FIN
Vainio, RamiUniv. of Helsinki
Mirme, SanderUniv. of Tartu, EST
Mirme, AaduUniv. of Tartu, EST
Minikin, AndreasDLR
Petzold, AndreasDLR
Horrak, UrmasUniv. of Tartu, EST
Plaß-Dülmer, ChristianDWD, Hohenpeissenberg
Birmili, WolframIfT, Leipzig
Kerminen, Veli-MattiFMI, Helsinki
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1885-1898
Keywords:EUCAARI, galactic cosmic rays, aerosol particle formation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Andreas Petzold
Deposited On:14 Dec 2009 12:43
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:48

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