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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-416
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-416
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 09 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 09 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

A Link between the Ice Nucleation Activity of Sea Spray Aerosol and the Biogeochemistry of Seawater

Martin J. Wolf1, Megan Goodell1, Eric Dong2, Lilian A. Dove1,3, Cuiqi Zhang1,4, Lesly J. Franco1, Chuanyang Shen1,5, Emma G. Rutkowski1, Domenic N. Narducci6, Susan Mullen1,7, Andrew R. Babbin1, and Daniel J. Cziczo1,8,9 Martin J. Wolf et al.
  • 1Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 54-918, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
  • 2San Marino High School, 2701 Huntington Drive, San Marino, California 91108
  • 3Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91125
  • 4School of Energy and Power Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China
  • 5Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 6Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 56-651, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
  • 7Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Berkeley, 307 McCone Hall, Berkeley, California 94720
  • 8Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 66-350, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
  • 9Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907

Abstract. Emissions of ice nucleating particles from sea spray can impact climate and precipitation by changing cloud formation, precipitation, and albedo. However, the relationship between seawater biogeochemistry and the ice nucleation activity of sea spray aerosols remains unclarified. Here, we demonstrate a link between the biological productivity in seawater and the ice nucleation activity of sea spray aerosol under conditions relevant to cirrus and mixed-phase cloud formation. We show for the first time that aerosol generated from both subsurface and microlayer seawater from the highly productive Eastern Tropical North Pacific Ocean are effective ice nucleating particles in the deposition and immersion freezing modes. Jet droplets aerosolized from the subsurface waters of highly productive regions may therefore be an unrealized source of effective INPs. In contrast, the subsurface water from the less productive Florida Straits produced less effective immersion mode INPs and ineffective depositional mode INPs. These results indicate that the regional biogeochemistry of seawater can strongly affect the ice nucleation activity of sea spray aerosol.

Martin J. Wolf et al.

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Short summary
Sea spray is the largest aerosol source on Earth. These aerosol particles can impact climate by inducing ice formation in clouds. The role that ocean biology plays in determining the composition and ice nucleation abilities of sea spray aerosol is unclarified. In this study, we demonstrate that highly productive oceanic regions emit more effective ice nucleating particles than lower-productivity regions. These results highlight the varied impact of marine ecosystems on atmospheric processes.
Sea spray is the largest aerosol source on Earth. These aerosol particles can impact climate by...
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