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Numerical solution of an aerosol particle growth by condensational of water vapor

Grant number: 20/02368-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics
Principal Investigator:Henrique de Melo Jorge Barbosa
Grantee:Gabriel Ramos da Trindade
Home Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/17047-0 - Aerosol and clouds life cycles in Amazonia: biogenic emissions, biomass burning and impacts on ecosystem, AP.PFPMCG.TEM

Abstract

Amazonia is under continuous changes, and atmospheric aerosol concentrations there vary from pristine conditions to heavy polluted, following the seasonal cycle of deforestation and agriculture practices. These high concentrations of aerosols play an important role in the atmospheric composition modification but also on convection, cloud formation and the precipitation regimes, with important regional and global climatic implications. This occurs because the physical and chemical characteristics of aerosols are crucial in their role as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and therefore affect the formation and evolution of clouds. Despite its importance, the interactions between aerosols and clouds are still not well known, and so climate models do not simulate several important processes and feedbacks. In this project, the student will write a Python program to simulate the activation of aerosol particles as a cloud droplets, through the numerical solution of the water vapor diffusion equation, in with different environmental saturations. Afterwards, the student will consider the particle size distribution in an air parcel that rises until it forms a cloud. The results will be compared with reference simulations. An important part of the project will be the guided study of atmospheric physics where the student will learn about kappa-Köhler theory, which explains growth hygroscopic aerosols. This will prepare the student for a future graduate in the area.