Articles | Volume 12, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 9653–9678, 2012

Special issue: New perspectives on Air-Ice Chemical Interactions (AICI) (ACP/ESSD...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 9653–9678, 2012

Review article 24 Oct 2012

Review article | 24 Oct 2012

Organics in environmental ices: sources, chemistry, and impacts

V. F. McNeill1, A. M. Grannas2, J. P. D. Abbatt3, M. Ammann4, P. Ariya5, T. Bartels-Rausch4, F. Domine6, D. J. Donaldson3, M. I. Guzman7, D. Heger8,9, T. F. Kahan10, P. Klán8,9, S. Masclin11, C. Toubin12, and D. Voisin13 V. F. McNeill et al.
  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
  • 3Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H6, Canada
  • 4Laboratory of Radio- and Environmental Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Chemistry and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, PQ, H3A 2K6, Canada
  • 6Takuvik International Laboratory, Université Laval and CNRS, Québec, QC, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 7Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
  • 8Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 9Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 3, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 10Department of Chemistry, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 12344, USA
  • 11Environmental Systems, University of California, Merced, Merced, CA 95343 USA
  • 12Laboratoire PhLAM – UFR de Physique, Université Lille, 59655 Villeneuve D'Ascq Cedex, France
  • 13LGGE/OSUG, Université Joseph Fourier, 38402 Saint Martin d'Hères, France

Abstract. The physical, chemical, and biological processes involving organics in ice in the environment impact a number of atmospheric and biogeochemical cycles. Organic material in snow or ice may be biological in origin, deposited from aerosols or atmospheric gases, or formed chemically in situ. In this manuscript, we review the current state of knowledge regarding the sources, properties, and chemistry of organic materials in environmental ices. Several outstanding questions remain to be resolved and fundamental data gathered before an accurate model of transformations and transport of organic species in the cryosphere will be possible. For example, more information is needed regarding the quantitative impacts of chemical and biological processes, ice morphology, and snow formation on the fate of organic material in cold regions. Interdisciplinary work at the interfaces of chemistry, physics and biology is needed in order to fully characterize the nature and evolution of organics in the cryosphere and predict the effects of climate change on the Earth's carbon cycle.

Final-revised paper