In this work satellite based observations were used to estimate the concentration of nucleation mode aerosols over South Africa. The nucleation mode aerosols can not be detected directly with satellite instruments since they are much smaller than the optically active aerosols, hence the concentrations were estimated using proxies introduced by Kulmala et al. (2011). Results showed enhanced values of both primary and regional scale nucleation proxies over the Mpumalanga Highveld industrial area, whereas over the Johannesburg-Pretoria megacity only the primary nucleation proxy showed elevated values. To estimate how well satellite based proxies work, the relation between satellite and in situ based quantities was studied in more detail. The correlation between aerosol optical depth (AOD) and condensation sink (CS) was 0.2-0.3 depending on the location. Boundary layer height affected the correlation somewhat, but there are other factors, such as the effect of dust on AOD, that are more likely to have a stronger impact.

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