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Modeling of the gas-particle conversion processes and formation of cloud condensation nuclei in the Amazon.

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Luciana Varanda Rizzo
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Física (IF/SBI)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Paulo Eduardo Artaxo Netto; Pedro Leite da Silva Dias; Alberto Waingort Setzer
Advisor: Paulo Eduardo Artaxo Netto

The Amazon Forest is a very complex ecosystem, which integrates its vegetation, its hydrological system, and the atmosphere. The Amazonian vegetation, with its natural metabolism, emits a large amount of biogenic particles and trace gases to the atmosphere. The region is passing through deep changes with respect to land use and land cover. The conversion of forest to pasture or agricultural land alters the ecosystem natural behavior. Using a zero dimensional box model named MAPS (Model for Aerosol Processes Studies),the dynamical processes of gas-to-particle conversion and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) formation have been simulated for Amazonia. The parameters that constraint the model were based on data collected during the Large Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazon (LBA). This work shows that gas-to-particle conversion processes affects the physical and chemical properties of natural aerosol population. Oxidation of monoterpenes, volatile organic compounds emitted by vegetation, causes a fine mode secondary organic aerosol production. The conversion of forest to pasture land reduces monoterpene emissions, diminishing the production of new organic particles as consequence. In 24 hours of simulation, the model predicts a secondary organic aerosol concentration of 2.0 g/m³ for forest, and 0.69 g/m³ for pasture environment. The production of secondary organic aerosol, due to gas-to-particle conversion, influences CCN population and cloud processes formation. From a natural aerosol population composed mainly by organic compounds, the model predicts that 90% of the particles activates at 0.5% of ambient supersaturation, showing the important role of organic aerosol on CCN formation in Amazon. Dry and wet season particulate matter in Amazonia shows very distinct characteristics of size and chemical species distribution. From a typical burning season aerosol, the model predicted a concentration of 250 CCN/cm³ at a supersaturation of 0.15%. With similar humidity conditions, a concentration of 100 CCN/cm³ was calculated from natural wet season aerosol. The increased number of CCN during the dry season affects cloud formation, and can reduce the growth rate of droplets, enlarge cloud lifetime, and consequently diminish cloud precipitation rates. (AU)