Variations in hygroscopic growth of sub- and super-micron sea spray aerosols during a phytoplankton bloom
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Marine sea spray aerosols (SSA) make up an important portion of natural aerosols (prior to anthropogenic influence) and are therefore important in establishing the baseline for anthropogenic aerosol climate impacts. One way aerosols impact climate is by scattering solar radiation, and how much light is scattered depends upon the size of aerosols. Aerosols grow larger via water uptake and thus scatter more light at elevated relative humidities. This growth depends on composition. SSA can become enriched in organics during phytoplankton blooms, becoming less salty and therefore less hygroscopic. Aerosol hygroscopicity of SSA sampled during an in-lab phytoplankton bloom were measured during the CAICE-IMPACTS 2014 study. SSA were generated via breaking waves in an enclosed 33 m wave channel filled with natural seawater. Aerosol hygroscopicity was characterized by measuring light extinction at 532 nm of dry aerosols and of aerosols humidified to 85% relative humidity using a Cavity Ringdown Spectrometer. These optical growth factors (humidified extinction/dry extinction) were converted to physical growth factors using Mie Theory calculations and aerosol size distributions measured with a scanning electrical mobility spectrometer (SEMS) and an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS). Growth factors for super- and sub-micron SSA were quantified separately through the use of a PM2.5 cyclone or PM1 impactor. The observed SSA growth factors will be linked to SSA and source water chemical composition determined by both offline and online analysis of samples. The SSA bulk growth factors will also be compared with concurrent measurements of the efficiency with which SSA act as cloud condensation nuclei. Observed SSA growth factors will also be compared to offline hygroscopic growth measurements.