Journal article

Comparison between summertime and wintertime Arctic Ocean primary marine aerosol properties

Zábori J, Krejci R, Ström J, Vaattovaara P, Ekman A, Salter M, Mårtensson E, Nilsson E ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 9 (2013) pp. 4783-4799

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Primary marine aerosols (PMAs) are an important source of cloud
condensation nuclei, and one of the key elements of the remote marine
radiative budget. Changes occurring in the rapidly warming Arctic, most
importantly the decreasing sea ice extent, will alter PMA production and
hence the Arctic climate through a set of feedback processes. In light
of this, laboratory experiments with Arctic Ocean water during both
Arctic winter and summer were conducted and focused on PMA emissions as
a function of season and water properties. Total particle number
concentrations and particle number size distributions were used to
characterize the PMA population. A comprehensive data set from the
Arctic summer and winter showed a decrease in PMA concentrations for the
covered water temperature (T-w) range between - 1 degrees C and 15
degrees C. A sharp decrease in PMA emissions for a T-w increase from -1
degrees C to 4 degrees C was followed by a lower rate of change in PMA
emissions for T-w up to about 6 degrees C. Near constant number
concentrations for water temperatures between 6 degrees C to 10 degrees
C and higher were recorded. Even though the total particle number
concentration changes for overlapping T-w ranges were consistent between
the summer and winter measurements, the distribution of particle number
concentrations among the different sizes varied between the seasons.
Median particle number concentrations for a dry diameter (D-p) < 0.125
mu m measured during winter conditions were similar (deviation of up to
3 %), or lower (up to 70 %) than the ones measured during summer
conditions (for the same water temperature range). For D-p > 0.125 mu m,
the particle number concentrations during winter were mostly higher than
in summer (up to 50 %). The normalized particle number size
distribution as a function of water temperature was examined for both
winter and summer measurements. An increase in T-w from -1 degrees C to
10 degrees C during winter measurements showed a decrease in the peak of
relative particle number concentration at about a D-p of 0.180 mu m,
while an increase was observed for particles with D-p > 1 mu m. Summer
measurements exhibited a relative shift to smaller particle sizes for an
increase of T-w in the range 7-11 degrees C. The differences in the
shape of the number size distributions between winter and summer may be
caused by different production of organic material in water, different
local processes modifying the water masses within the fjord (for example
sea ice production in winter and increased glacial meltwater inflow
during summer) and different origin of the dominant sea water mass.
Further research is needed regarding the contribution of these factors
to the PMA production.

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  • Matthew SalterDepartment of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University

  • J. Zábori

  • R. Krejci

  • J. Ström

  • P. Vaattovaara

  • A. M.L. Ekman

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