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.
About 3.5 +/- 0.3 water molecules are still involved in the exothermic hydration of 2-oxopropanoic acid (PA) into its monohydrate (2,2-dihydroxypropanoic acid, PAH) in ice at 230 K. This is borne out by thermodynamic analysis of the fact that QH(T) = [PAH]/[PA] becomes temperature independent below approximately 250 K (in chemically and thermally equilibrated frozen 0.1 < or = [PA]/M < or = 4.6 solutions in D2O), which requires that the enthalpy of PA hydration (DeltaHH approximately -22 kJ mol(-1)) be balanced by a multiple of the enthalpy of ice melting (DeltaHM = 6.3 kJ mol(-1)). Considering that: (1) thermograms of frozen PA solutions display a single endotherm, at the onset of ice melting, (2) the sum of the integral intensities of the 1deltaPAH and 1deltaPA methyl proton NMR resonances is nearly constant while, (3) line widths increase exponentially with decreasing temperature before diverging below approximately 230 K, we infer that PA in ice remains cooperatively hydrated within interstitial microfluids until they vitrify.