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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1013
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1013
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Nov 2018

Research article | 07 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

The distribution of sea-salt aerosol in the global troposphere

Daniel M. Murphy1, Karl D. Froyd1,2, Huisheng Bian3,4, Charles A. Brock1, Jack E. Dibb5, Joshua P. DiGangi6, Glenn Diskin6, Maximillian Dollner7, Agnieszka Kupc1,2,7, Eric M. Scheuer5, Gregory P. Schill1,2, Bernadett Weinzierl7,8, Christina J. Williamson1,2, and Pengfei Yu1,2,9 Daniel M. Murphy et al.
  • 1Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Joint Center for Environmental Technology University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 4Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 5Earth Systems Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA
  • 6NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA
  • 7University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna, Austria
  • 8Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 9Institute for Environment and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China

Abstract. We present the first data on the concentration of sea-salt aerosol throughout most of the depth of the troposphere and over a wide range of latitudes. Sea salt concentrations in the upper troposphere are very small, usually less than 10ng per standard m3 (about 10 parts per trillion by mass) and often less than 1ngm−3. This puts stringent limits on the contribution of sea-salt aerosol to halogen and nitric acid chemistry in the upper troposphere. Within broad regions the concentration of sea-salt aerosol is roughly proportional to water vapor, supporting a dominant role for wet scavenging in removing sea-salt aerosol from the atmosphere. Concentrations of sea-salt aerosol in the winter upper troposphere are not as low as in the summer and the tropics. This is mostly a consequence of less wet scavenging in the drier, colder winter atmosphere. There is also a source of sea-salt aerosol over pack ice that is distinct from that over open water. With a well-studied and widely distributed source, sea-salt aerosol provides an excellent test of wet scavenging and vertical transport of aerosols in chemical transport models.

Daniel M. Murphy et al.
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Short summary
We present the first data on the concentration of sea-salt aerosol throughout most of the depth of the troposphere and a wide range of latitudes. Sea salt concentrations in the upper troposphere are very small. This puts stringent limits on how sea-salt aerosol affects halogen and nitric acid chemistry there. With a widely distributed source, sea-salt aerosol provides an excellent test of wet scavenging and vertical transport of aerosols in chemical transport models.
We present the first data on the concentration of sea-salt aerosol throughout most of the depth...
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