Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2006 Jun 2;312(5778):1375-8.

Size matters more than chemistry for cloud-nucleating ability of aerosol particles.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany.


Size-resolved cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectra measured for various aerosol types at a non-urban site in Germany showed that CCN concentrations are mainly determined by the aerosol number size distribution. Distinct variations of CCN activation with particle chemical composition were observed but played a secondary role. When the temporal variation of chemical effects on CCN activation is neglected, variation in the size distribution alone explains 84 to 96% of the variation in CCN concentrations. Understanding that particles' ability to act as CCN is largely controlled by aerosol size rather than composition greatly facilitates the treatment of aerosol effects on cloud physics in regional and global models.

Comment in

Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk