17 Jan 2023
17 Jan 2023
Status: 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 Sellegri1, Theresa Barthelmeß2, Jonathan Trueblood1, Antonia Cristi3, Evelyn Freney1, Clémence Rose1, Neill Barr3, Mike Harvey, Karl Safi4, Stacy Deppeler3, Karen Thompson4, Wayne Dillon5, Anja Engel2, and Cliff Law3,5 Karine Sellegri et al.
  • 1Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique (LaMP) F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 2GEOMAR, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • 3National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Wellington, New Zealand
  • 4National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Hamilton, New Zealand
  • 5Department of Marine Science, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Deceased

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: open (until 28 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

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.