Linking marine phytoplankton emissions, meteorological processes, and downwind particle properties with FLEXPART

Sanchez, KJ; Zhang, B; Liu, H; Saliba, G; Chen, C-L; Lewis, SL; Russell, LM; Shook, MA; Crosbie, EC; Ziemba, LD; Brown, MD; Shingler, TJ; Robinson, CE; Wiggins, EB; Thornhill, KL; Winstead, EL; Jordan, C; Quinn, PK; Bates, TS; Porter, J; Bell, TG; Saltzman, ES; Behrenfeld, MJ; Moore, RH. 2021 Linking marine phytoplankton emissions, meteorological processes, and downwind particle properties with FLEXPART. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21 (2). 831-851.

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Marine biogenic particle contributions to atmospheric aerosol concentrations are not well understood though they are important for determining cloud optical and cloud-nucleating properties. Here we examine the relationship between marine aerosol measurements (with satellites and model fields of ocean biology) and meteorological variables during the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES). NAAMES consisted of four field campaigns between November 2015 and April 2018 that aligned with the four major phases of the annual phytoplankton bloom cycle. The FLEXible PARTicle (FLEX-PART) Lagrangian particle dispersion model is used to spatiotemporally connect these variables to ship-based aerosol and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) observations. We find that correlations between some aerosol measurements with satellite-measured and modeled variables increase with increasing trajectory length, indicating that biological and meteorological processes over the air mass history are influential for measured particle properties and that using only spatially coincident data would miss correlative connections that are lagged in time. In particular, the marine non-refractory organic aerosol mass correlates with modeled marine net primary production when weighted by 5 d air mass trajectory residence time (r = 0.62). This result indicates that non-refractory organic aerosol mass is influenced by biogenic volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that are typically produced through bacterial degradation of dissolved organic matter, zooplankton grazing on marine phytoplankton, and as a by-product of photosynthesis by phytoplankton stocks during advection into the region. This is further supported by the correlation of non-refractory organic mass with 2 d residence-time-weighted chlorophyll a (r = 0.39), a proxy for phytoplankton abundance, and 5 d residence-time-weighted downward shortwave forcing (r = 0.58), a requirement for photosynthesis. In contrast, DMS (formed through biological processes in the seawater) and primary marine aerosol (PMA) concentrations showed better correlations with explanatory biological and meteorological variables weighted with shorter air mass residence times, which reflects their localized origin as primary emissions. Aerosol submicron number and mass negatively correlate with sea surface wind speed. The negative correlation is attributed to enhanced PMA concentrations under higher wind speed conditions. We hypothesized that the elevated total particle surface area associated with high PMA concentrations leads to enhanced rates of condensation of VOC oxidation products onto PMA. Given the high deposition velocity of PMA relative to submicron aerosol, PMA can limit the accumulation of secondary aerosol mass. This study provides observational evidence for connections between marine aerosols and underlying ocean biology through complex secondary formation processes, emphasizing the need to consider air mass history in future analyses.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 16 Jul 2021 13:40
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2021 13:40

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