Measurements of particulate methanesulfonic acid above the remote Arctic Ocean using a high resolution aerosol mass spectrometer

Zhang, Y, Sun, J, Shen, X, Lal Chandani, V, Du, M, Song, C, Dai, Y, Hu, G, Yang, M, Tilstone, GH, Jordan, TM, Dall’Olmo, G, Liu, Q, Nemitz, E, Callaghan, A, Brean, J, Sommariva, R, Beddows, D, Langford, B, Bloss, W, Acton, W, Harrison, R, Dall’Osto, M and Shi, Z 2024 Measurements of particulate methanesulfonic acid above the remote Arctic Ocean using a high resolution aerosol mass spectrometer. Atmospheric Environment, 331. 120538.

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Methanesulfonic acid (MSA) is an important product from the oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), and thus is often used as a tracer for marine biogenic sources and secondary organic aerosol. MSA also contributes to aerosol mass and potentially to the formation of cloud condensation nuclei and new particles. However, measurements of MSA at high temporal resolution in the remote Arctic are scarce, which limits our understanding of its formation, climate change impact and regional transport. Here, we applied a validated quantification method to determine the mass concentration of MSA and non-sea salt sulfate (nss-SO4) in PM2.5 in the marine boundary layer, using a high resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) during a research cruise to the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean, between 55 ◦N and 68 ◦N (26th May to June 23, 2022). With this method, the concen�trations of MSA in the remote Arctic marine boundary layer were determined for the first time. Results show that the average MSA concentration was 0.025 ± 0.03 μg m− 3 , ranging from <0.01 to 0.32 μg m− 3 . The lowest MSA level was found towards the northern leg of the cruise (near Sisimut (67 ◦N)) with air masses from sea ice over the northern polar region, and the highest MSA concentrations were observed over the Atlantic open ocean. The diurnal cycles of gas MSA, particulate MSA and nss-SO4 peaked in the afternoon, about one hour later than that of peak of solar radiation, which suggests that photochemical process is an important mechanism for the conversion of DMS into MSA above the remote ocean. The mass ratio of MSA to nss-SO4 (MSA/nss-SO4) presents a tem�perature dependence, which indicates that the addition branching pathway favors MSA formation, while thermal decay of intermediate radicals could be a possible pathway for sulfate formation. Finally, we found that the MSA/ nss-SO4 ratio is around 0.22-0.25 in the remote northern marine atmosphere.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: MSA Marine aerosol Oxidation path Reference MSA/nss-SO4 value HR-ToF-AMS
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Atlantic Meridional Transect
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 06 Jun 2024 08:49
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 08:49

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