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HyderabadAerosol particles below 3 nm can have climatic impacts: UoH Study

Aerosol particles below 3 nm can have climatic impacts: UoH Study

Published: 14th Jun 2021 7:47 pm | Updated: 15th Jun 2021 12:32 am

Hyderabad: Researchers at University of Hyderabad, while tracing the concentration, size and evolution of aerosols smaller than three nanometres at an urban location in Hyderabad, have found the frequent formation of sub-3nm neutral aerosols in the atmosphere. This has critical importance as a major fraction of these newly formed particles can reach sizes of cloud condensation nuclei where they have climatic impacts, according to Dr. Vijay Kanawade and Mathew Sebastian of UoH, who conducted the study that was published recently in the Elsevier journal ‘Atmospheric Environment’, along with Dr. Jeff Pierce from Colorado State University.

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The researchers said that the formation of small molecular clusters of sub-3nm and their subsequent growth to the large sizes is called atmospheric new particle formation (NPF), which occurs everywhere in the terrestrial troposphere, and therefore it is a large source of aerosol numbers to the atmosphere.

Dr Vijay Kanawade and Mathew Sebastian of UoH

The researchers measured neutral sub-3nm particle concentrations at an urban location in India and reported the formation rate of small molecular clusters, for the first time, in a sub-3nm size regime, where aerosol nucleation triggers. The researchers used AIRMODUS nano Condensation Nucleus Counter (nCNC) to measure particle size distribution in the size range of 1 to 3 nm diameter since January 2019 at the UoH campus. Their findings showed that a pool of sub-3nm particles is often present in the atmosphere, but how fast these clusters grow depends on various factors.

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