Assessing the Dynamics of Organic Aerosols over the North Atlantic Ocean

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Scientific Reports, 2017, 7
Issue Date:
2017-03-31
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© The Author(s) 2017. The influence of aerosols on climate is highly dependent on the particle size distribution, concentration, and composition. In particular, the latter influences their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei, whereby they impact cloud coverage and precipitation. Here, we simultaneously measured the concentration of aerosols from sea spray over the North Atlantic on board the exhaust-free solar-powered vessel "PlanetSolar", and the sea surface physico-chemical parameters. We identified organic-bearing particles based on individual particle fluorescence spectra. Organic-bearing aerosols display specific spatio-temporal distributions as compared to total aerosols. We propose an empirical parameterization of the organic-bearing particle concentration, with a dependence on water salinity and sea-surface temperature only. We also show that a very rich mixture of organic aerosols is emitted from the sea surface. Such data will certainly contribute to providing further insight into the influence of aerosols on cloud formation, and be used as input for the improved modeling of aerosols and their role in global climate processes.
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