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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1094
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1094
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 30 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Evaluating the impact of blowing snow sea salt aerosol on springtime BrO and O3 in the Arctic

Jiayue Huang1, Lyatt Jaeglé1, Qianjie Chen1,a, Becky Alexander1, Tomás Sherwen2, Mat J. Evans2,3, Nicolas Theys4, and Sungyeon Choi5,6 Jiayue Huang et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
  • 2Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Science, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK
  • 4Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
  • 5Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD 20706, USA
  • 6NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD20771, USA
  • anow at: Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Abstract. We use the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to examine the influence of bromine release from blowing snow sea salt aerosol (SSA) on springtime bromine activation and O3 depletion events (ODEs) in the Arctic lower troposphere. We evaluate our simulation against observations of tropospheric BrO vertical column densities (VCDtropo) from the GOME-2 and OMI spaceborne instruments for three years (2007–2009), as well as against surface observations of O3. We conduct a simulation with blowing snow SSA emissions from first-year sea ice (FYI, with a surface snow salinity of 0.1 psu) and multi-year sea ice (MYI, with a surface snow salinity of 0.05 psu), assuming a factor of 5 bromide enrichment of surface snow relative to seawater. This simulation captures the magnitude of observed March–April GOME-2 and OMI VCDtropo to within 17 %, as well as their spatiotemporal variability (r = 0.76-0.85). Many of the large-scale bromine explosions are successfully reproduced, with the exception of events in May, which are absent or systematically underpredicted in the model. If we assume a lower salinity on MYI (0.01 psu) some of the bromine explosions events observed over MYI are not captured, suggesting that blowing snow over MYI is an important source of bromine activation. We find that the modeled atmospheric deposition onto snow-covered sea ice becomes highly enriched in bromide, increasing from enrichment factors of ~ 5 in September–February to 10–60 in May, consistent with freshly fallen snow composition observations. We propose that this progressive enrichment in deposition could enable blowing snow-induced halogen activation to propagate into May and might explain our late-spring underestimate in VCDtropo. We estimate that atmospheric deposition of SSA could increase snow salinity by up to 0.04 psu between February and April, which could be an important source of salinity for surface snow on MYI as well as FYI covered by deep snowpack. Inclusion of halogen release from blowing snow SSA in our simulations decreases monthly mean Arctic surface O3 by 4–8 ppbv (15–30 %) in March and 8–14 ppbv (30–40 %) in April. We reproduce a transport event of depleted O3 Arctic air down to 40º N observed at many sub-Arctic surface sites in early April 2007. While our simulation captures a few ODEs observed at coastal Arctic surface sites, it underestimates the magnitude of other events and entirely misses some events. We suggest that inclusion of direct snowpack activation, which is a strong local source of Br radicals in the shallow Arctic boundary layer, could help reconcile the success of our simulation at capturing satellite retrievals of VCDtropo with its difficulty in reproducing local ODEs.

Jiayue Huang et al.

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Jiayue Huang et al.

Jiayue Huang et al.

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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
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Short summary
Large-scale enhancements of tropospheric BrO and depletion of surface ozone are often observed in the springtime Arctic. Here, we use a chemical transport model to examine the role of sea salt aerosol from blowing snow in explaining these phenomena. We find that our simulation can account for the spatio-temporal variability of satellite observations of BrO. However, the model underestimates observed ozone depletion events, potentially pointing to the role of direct snowpack halogen activation.
Large-scale enhancements of tropospheric BrO and depletion of surface ozone are often observed...
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