Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 1203–1216, 2011
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 1203–1216, 2011

Research article 14 Feb 2011

Research article | 14 Feb 2011

A sea-state based source function for size- and composition-resolved marine aerosol production

M. S. Long1, W. C. Keene1, D. J. Kieber2, D. J. Erickson3, and H. Maring4 M. S. Long et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, NY, USA
  • 3Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN USA
  • 4NASA Headquarters: Radiation Sciences Program, Washington DC, USA

Abstract. A parameterization for the size- and composition-resolved production fluxes of nascent marine aerosol was developed from prior experimental observations and extrapolated to ambient conditions based on estimates of air entrainment by the breaking of wind-driven ocean waves. Production of particulate organic carbon (OCaer) was parameterized based on Langmuir equilibrium-type association of organic matter to bubble plumes in seawater and resulting aerosol as constrained by measurements of aerosol produced from productive and oligotrophic seawater. This novel approach is the first to parameterize size- and composition-resolved aerosol production based on explicit evaluation of wind-driven air entrainment/detrainment fluxes and chlorophyll-a as a proxy for surfactants in surface seawater. Production fluxes were simulated globally with an eight aerosol-size-bin version of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM v3.5.07). Simulated production fluxes fell within the range of published estimates based on observationally constrained parameterizations. Because the parameterization does not consider contributions from spume drops, the simulated global mass flux (1.5 × 103 Tg y−1) is near the lower end of published estimates. The simulated production of aerosol number (1.4 × 106 m−2 s−1) and OCaer (29 Tg C y−1) fall near the upper end of published estimates and suggest that primary marine aerosols may have greater influences on the physicochemical evolution of the troposphere, radiative transfer and climate, and associated feedbacks on the surface ocean than suggested by previous model studies.

Final-revised paper