The Equilibrium Distribution of Atmospheric Gases Between the Two Phases of Liquid Water Clouds

  • Peter Warneck
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 6)


The partitioning of water-soluble gases between the aqueous and gaseous phases of clouds is treated by assuming that the system is near thermodynamic equilibrium. Henry’s law can then be applied to determine the degree of in-cloud scavenging of atmospheric volatiles, the resulting concentrations of the substances in the aqueous phase, and the associated residence times in the atmosphere due to rain-out. Gases reacting with water to form ions require the definition of a modified Henry coefficient which depends on the pH of the solution. It is shown that, potentially, the pH of individual cloud drops can vary over a wide range. The true distribution of pH among cloud drops is presently not known, so that the application of the formalism developed to determine the scavenging efficiency for reactive gases must await further data. Adduct formation between formaldehyde and bisulfite is discussed as an example fo solute-solute interaction which are not accounted for by Henry’s law. Such interactions can be treated provided equilibria are established and the equilibrium constants are known.


Aerosol Particle Adduct Formation Cloud Water Liquid Water Content Cloud Condensation Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Warneck
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institut fuer ChemieMainz 31Germany

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