17 Jan 2023
 | 17 Jan 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Quantified effect of seawater biogeochemistry on the temperature dependence of sea spray aerosol fluxes

Karine Sellegri, Theresa Barthelmeß, Jonathan Trueblood, Antonia Cristi, Evelyn Freney, Clémence Rose, Neill Barr, Mike Harvey, Karl Safi, Stacy Deppeler, Karen Thompson, Wayne Dillon, Anja Engel, and Cliff Law

Abstract. Future change in sea surface temperature may influence climate via various air-sea feedbacks and pathways. In this study, we investigate the influence of surface seawater biogeochemical composition on the temperature dependence of sea spray number emission fluxes. Dependence of sea spray fluxes was investigated in different water masses (i.e. subantarctic, subtropical and frontal bloom) with contrasting biogeochemical properties across a temperature range from ambient (13–18 °C) to 2 °C, using seawater circulating in a plunging jet sea spray generator. We observed sea spray total concentration to increase significantly at temperatures below 8 °C, with an average 4-fold increase at 2 °C relative to initial concentration at ambient temperatures. This temperature dependence was more pronounced for smaller size sea spray particles (i.e. nucleation and Aitken modes). Moreover, temperature dependence varied with water mass type and so biogeochemical properties. While the sea spray flux at moderate temperatures (8–11 °C) was highest in frontal bloom waters, the effect of low temperature on the sea spray flux was highest with subtropical seawaters. The temperature dependence of sea spray flux was also inversely proportional to the seawater cell abundance of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus, which facilitated parameterization of temperature dependence of sea spray emission fluxes as a function of Synechococcus for future implementation in modelling exercises.

Karine Sellegri et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-790', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Mar 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-790', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Mar 2023

Karine Sellegri et al.

Karine Sellegri et al.


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Short summary
The number of sea spray emitted to the atmosphere depends on the ocean temperature, but this dependency is not well understood, especially when ocean biology is involved. In this study, we show that sea spray emissions are increased by up to a factor of four at low seawater temperatures compared to moderate temperatures, and quantify the temperature dependence as a function of the ocean biogeochemistry.