U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Scientists Characterize Poorly Understood, Climate-Influencing Atmospheric Particles
Published: April 26, 2010
Posted: May 05, 2010

The formation and transformation of primary and secondary organic aerosol particles in the atmosphere, both natural and manmade, influence Earth's climate. Using the experimental capabilities at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), PNNL and Imre Consulting scientists created hydrophobic primary organic aerosols and hydrophilic secondary organic aerosols and studied their morphology using EMSL's Single Particle Laser Ablation mass spectrometer (SPLAT II). The team's analyses showed that layered particles, not mixed particles, were formed with properties distinct from those of the pure components. This type of analysis, on the numbers and properties of particles, will improve the accuracy and predictability of climate models. This work led to an invited paper in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on atmospheric science.

Reference: Vaden TD, C Song, RA Zaveri, D Imre, and A Zelenyuk. 2010. "Morphology of Mixed Primary and Secondary Organic Particles and the Adsorption of Spectator Organic Gases during Aerosol Formation." 2010. PNAS 107: 6658-6663.

Contact: Ashley Williamson, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3120, Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Research Area: DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)