Marine biogeochemical influence on primary sea spray aerosol composition in the Southern Ocean: predictions from a mechanistic model

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Susannah M Burrows1, Scott Elliott2, Amanda A Frossard3, Daniel McCoy4, Lynn M Russell3, Xiaohong Liu5, Oluwaseun O Ogunro6, Richard C Easter7 and Philip J Rasch8, (1)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, (2)Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, United States, (3)University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States, (4)University of Washington Seattle Campus, Seattle, WA, United States, (5)University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States, (6)New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM, United States, (7)Battelle PNNL, Richland, WA, United States, (8)Pacific Northwest National Lab, Richland, WA, United States
Remote marine clouds, such as those over the Southern Ocean, are particularly sensitive to variations in the concentration and chemical composition of aerosols that serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Observational evidence indicates that the organic content of fine marine aerosol is greatly increased during the biologically active season near strong phytoplankton blooms in certain locations, while being nearly constant in other locations.

We have recently developed a novel modeling framework that mechanistically links the organic fraction of submicron sea spray to ocean biogeochemistry (Burrows et al., in discussion, ACPD, 2014; Elliott et al., ERL, 2014). Because of its combination of large phytoplankton blooms and high wind speeds, the Southern Ocean is an ideal location for testing our understanding of the processes driving the enrichment of organics in sea spray aerosol. Comparison of the simulated OM fraction with satellite observations shows that OM fraction is a statistically significant predictor of cloud droplet number concentration over the Southern Ocean.

This presentation will focus on predictions from our modeling framework for the Southern Ocean, specifically, the predicted geographic gradients and seasonal cycles in the aerosol organic matter and its functional group composition. The timing and location of a Southern Ocean field campaign will determine its utility in observing the effects of highly localized and seasonal phytoplankton blooms on aerosol composition and clouds.

Reference cited:

Burrows, S. M., Ogunro, O., Frossard, A. A., Russell, L. M., Rasch, P. J., and Elliott, S.: A physically-based framework for modelling the organic fractionation of sea spray aerosol from bubble film Langmuir equilibria, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 14, 5375-5443, doi:10.5194/acpd-14-5375-2014, 2014.

Elliott, S., Burrows, S. M., Deal, C., Liu, X., Long, M., Ogunro, O., Russell, L. M., and Wingenter O.. "Prospects for simulating macromolecular surfactant chemistry at the ocean–atmosphere boundary." Environmental Research Letters 9, no. 6 (2014): 064012.