Measurements and chemical analysis of super-micron (greater than 1 micrometer) sized particles in the atmosphere are being made as part of the aircraft-based Wintertime Investigation of Transport, Emissions, and Reactivity (WINTER) field campaign, scheduled to take place during January and February 2015. An important goal of the WINTER campaign is to characterize the multiphase chemical processing and transport of air emissions over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US during wintertime. These data, when combined with the measurements being made by other campaign investigators, are expected to provide unique insight into the chemical processes that occur in the atmosphere during the winter months This research is relevant to the development and optimization of models used for predicting air quality and climate change.
Chemical analysis of the aerosol samples will provide data on the concentrations of soluble ions (chloride, nitrate, sulfate, oxalate, sodium, ammonium, potassium, magnesium and calcium) in the atmosphere. The abundance and distribution of aerosol chloride can play a critical role in the production of nitryl chloride (ClNO2) and influence regional atmospheric photochemistry. Supermicron sea salt and dust particles can serve as strong sinks for gas phase nitric and sulfuric acids and influence the chemical cycling of nitrogen and sulfur oxides, possibly competing with processes leading to new particle formation. The combined results from the WINTER campaign will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the year-round fate of anthropogenic pollutant emissions in the atmosphere.