Understanding the global effect of secondary organic aerosol on size distributions in past and present climates
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Recent research has shown that secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are major contributors to ultraﬁne particle growth to climatically relevant sizes, increasing global cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations within the continental boundary layer (BL). This thesis contains two separate studies investigating SOA characteristics and the implications of SOA on global climate. The first study investigates two critical, but uncertain, characteristics of SOA: (1) the amount of SOA available to condense and (2) the volatility or condensational behavior of SOA. The second study investigates the effect of biological volatile organic compound (BVOC) emission changes on SOA formation from preindustrial to present day, and the effect on CCN concentrations using BVOC emission estimates over the last millennium.