Wind speed dependent size-resolved parameterization for the organic mass fraction of sea spray aerosol
Facchini, M. C.
O'Dowd, C. D.
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Gantt, B. Meskhidze, N.; Facchini, M. C.; Rinaldi, M.; Ceburnis, D.; O'Dowd, C. D. (2011). Wind speed dependent size-resolved parameterization for the organic mass fraction of sea spray aerosol. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11 (16), 8777-8790
For oceans to be a significant source of primary organic aerosol (POA), sea spray aerosol (SSA) must be highly enriched with organics relative to the bulk seawater. We propose that organic enrichment at the air-sea interface, chemical composition of seawater, and the aerosol size are three main parameters controlling the organic mass fraction of sea spray aerosol (OMSSA). To test this hypothesis, we developed a new marine POA emission function based on a conceptual relationship between the organic enrichment at the air-sea interface and surface wind speed. The resulting parameterization is explored using aerosol chemical composition and surface wind speed from Atlantic and Pacific coastal stations, and satellite-derived ocean concentrations of chlorophyll-a, dissolved organic carbon, and particulate organic carbon. Of all the parameters examined, a multi-variable logistic regression revealed that the combination of 10 m wind speed and surface chlorophyll-a concentration ([Chl-a]) are the most consistent predictors of OMSSA. This relationship, combined with the published aerosol size dependence of OMSSA, resulted in a new parameterization for the organic mass fraction of SSA. Global emissions of marine POA are investigated here by applying this newly-developed relationship to existing sea spray emission functions, satellite-derived [Chl-a], and modeled 10m winds. Analysis of model simulations shows that global annual sub-micron marine organic emission associated with sea spray is estimated to be from 2.8 to 5.6 TgC yr(-1). This study provides additional evidence that marine primary organic aerosols are a globally significant source of organics in the atmosphere.