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Published December 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

On the link between ocean biota emissions, aerosol, and maritime clouds: Airborne, ground, and satellite measurements off the coast of California


Surface, airborne, and satellite measurements over the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of California during the period between 2005 and 2007 are used to explore the relationship between ocean chlorophyll a, aerosol, and marine clouds. Periods of enhanced chlorophyll a and wind speed are coincident with increases in particulate diethylamine and methanesulfonate concentrations. The measurements indicate that amines are a source of secondary organic aerosol in the marine atmosphere. Subsaturated aerosol hygroscopic growth measurements indicate that the organic component during periods of high chlorophyll a and wind speed exhibit considerable water uptake ability. Increased average cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) activity during periods of increased chlorophyll a levels likely results from both size distribution and aerosol composition changes. The available data over the period of measurements indicate that the cloud microphysical response, as represented by either cloud droplet number concentration or cloud droplet effective radius, is likely influenced by a combination of atmospheric dynamics and aerosol perturbations during periods of high chlorophyll a concentrations.

Additional Information

© 2009 American Geophysical Union. Received 14 January 2009; accepted 24 June 2009; published 14 October 2009. This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research grant N00014-04-1-0118 and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program of the U.S. Department of Energy under grant DE-AI02-06ER64215. A.S. acknowledges support from the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere Postdoctoral Research Program and Colorado State University. G.F. and A.M. acknowledge support from NOAA's Climate Goal. The images and data used in this study were acquired using the GES-DISC Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure (Giovanni) as part of the NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC). The authors gratefully acknowledge the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) for provision of the HYSPLIT transport and dispersion model.

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Published - Sorooshian2009p6232Global_Biogeochem_Cy.pdf


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