Measurement report: Cloud processes and the transport of biological emissions affect southern ocean particle and cloud condensation nuclei concentrations.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 5)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Article
Length: 547 words

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Abstract :

Long-range transport of biogenic emissions from the coast of Antarctica, precipitation scavenging, and cloud processing are the main processes that influence the observed variability in Southern Ocean (SO) marine boundary layer (MBL) condensation nuclei (CN) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations during the austral summer. Airborne particle measurements on the HIAPER GV from north-south transects between Hobart, Tasmania, and 62.sup." S during the Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES) were separated into four regimes comprising combinations of high and low concentrations of CCN and CN. In 5 d HYSPLIT back trajectories, air parcels with elevated CCN concentrations were almost always shown to have crossed the Antarctic coast, a location with elevated phytoplankton emissions relative to the rest of the SO in the region south of Australia. The presence of high CCN concentrations was also consistent with high cloud fractions over their trajectory, suggesting there was substantial growth of biogenically formed particles through cloud processing. Cases with low cloud fraction, due to the presence of cumulus clouds, had high CN concentrations, consistent with previously reported new particle formation in cumulus outflow regions. Measurements associated with elevated precipitation during the previous 1.5 d of their trajectory had low CCN concentrations indicating CCN were effectively scavenged by precipitation. A coarse-mode fitting algorithm was used to determine the primary marine aerosol (PMA) contribution, which accounted for 20 % of CCN (at 0.3 % supersaturation) and cloud droplet number concentrations. Vertical profiles of CN and large particle concentrations (D.sub.p 0.07 µm) indicated that particle formation occurs more frequently above the MBL; however, the growth of recently formed particles typically occurs in the MBL, consistent with cloud processing and the condensation of volatile compound oxidation products. CCN measurements on the R/V Investigator as part of the second Clouds, Aerosols, Precipitation, Radiation and atmospheric Composition Over the southeRn Ocean (CAPRICORN-2) campaign were also conducted during the same period as the SOCRATES study. The R/V Investigator observed elevated CCN concentrations near Australia, likely due to continental and coastal biogenic emissions. The Antarctic coastal source of CCN from the south, CCN sources from the midlatitudes, and enhanced precipitation sink in the cyclonic circulation between the Ferrel and polar cells (around 60.sup." S) create opposing latitudinal gradients in the CCN concentration with an observed minimum in the SO between 55 and 60.sup." S. The SOCRATES airborne measurements are not influenced by Australian continental emissions but still show evidence of elevated CCN concentrations to the south of 60.sup." S, consistent with biogenic coastal emissions. In addition, a latitudinal gradient in the particle composition, south of the Australian and Tasmanian coasts, is apparent in aerosol hygroscopicity derived from CCN spectra and aerosol particle size distribution. The particles are more hygroscopic to the north, consistent with a greater fraction of sea salt from PMA, and less hygroscopic to the south as there is more sulfate and organic particles originating from biogenic sources in coastal Antarctica.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653980125