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Title: Sea spray aerosol as a unique source of ice nucleating particles

Ice nucleating particles (INPs) are vital for ice initiation in, and precipitation from, mixed-phase clouds. A source of INPs from oceans within sea spray aerosol (SSA) emissions has been suggested in previous studies but remained unconfirmed. Here, we show that INPs are emitted using real wave breaking in a laboratory flume to produce SSA. The number concentrations of INPs from laboratory-generated SSA, when normalized to typical total aerosol number concentrations in the marine boundary layer, agree well with measurements from diverse regions over the oceans. In addition, data in the present study are also in accord with previously published INP measurements made over remote ocean regions. INP number concentrations active within liquid water droplets increase exponentially in number with a decrease in temperature below 0°C, averaging an order of magnitude increase per 5°C interval. The plausibility of a strong increase in SSA INP emissions in association with phytoplankton blooms is also shown in laboratory simulations. Nevertheless, INP number concentrations, or active site densities approximated using “dry” geometric SSA surface areas, are a few orders of magnitude lower than corresponding concentrations or site densities in the surface boundary layer over continental regions. Lastly, these findings have important implications for cloud radiativemore » forcing and precipitation within low-level and midlevel marine clouds unaffected by continental INP sources, such as may occur over the Southern Ocean.« less
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  1. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Department of Atmospheric Science
  2. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  3. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  4. Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies
  5. Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada). Department of Chemistry
  6. Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Yongin (South Korea). Department of Environmental Science
  7. Korea Polar Research Institute, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon (South Korea)
  8. Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States). Department of Atmospheric Science
  9. Handix Scientific, Boulder, CO (United States)
  10. Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY (United States). Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
  11. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Environmental and Climate Sciences Department
  12. Air Quality Processes Research Section, Environment Canada, Toronto, ON (Canada)
  13. Univ. of Toronto, ON (Canada). Department of Chemistry
  14. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Department of Chemistry and Department of Environmental Health Sciences
  15. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Department of Environmental Health Sciences
  16. Univ. of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR (United States). Department of Environmental Science
  17. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  18. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States). Department of Chemistry
  19. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Department of Chemistry
  20. Ocean Lab, Fishguard Harbour, Goodwick (United Kingdom)
  21. Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States). Department of Plant Sciences
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424; R&D Project: 2016-BNL-EE630EECA-Budg; KP1701000
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; marine aerosols; ice nucleation; clouds
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1336082