Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Cloud droplet chemistry is modelled for the first 150 m of rise in a wintertime, mid-latitude, marine stratus cloud using observations made at and near the Cape Grim Baseline Station as a source of input parameters. The emphasis in this work was to study the variation in droplet chemistry as a function of both droplet size and nucleus composition, with a particular focus on the way in which oxidation of dissolved sulfur dioxide varied. At 150 m above the condensation level, solute concentration as a function of droplet size was found to increase by as much as 2 to 3 orders of magnitude for only a factor of 2 increase in droplet radius, primarily as a consequence of the 1/r dependence in the droplet growth equation. This type of size dependence exists at all levels in the model cloud, and has a significant influence on oxidation rate of sulfur dioxide in droplets growing on ‘sulfate’ nuclei, oxidation by ozone being favoured in the smallest droplets, but oxidation by hydrogen peroxide being favoured in the larger droplets. Oxidation by ozone is favoured at all sizes in droplets formed on sea-salt nuclei as a result of the initially high alkalinity of these droplets, and in the cloud overall is calculated to be the more important oxidation pathway. Although based on a simplified chemical scheme, these results suggest that both size-dependent and nucleus-dependent chemistry of cloud droplets may need to be considered explicitly in cloud modelling work. Volume-weighted mean pH values in the range 5 to 6 were predicted from sensitivity studies in which input variables were varied over reasonable ranges, in agreement with two sets of bulk cloud-water pH data obtained by aircraft near Cape Grim.
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