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Published October 20, 1994 | Published
Journal Article Open

Aerosol production and growth in the marine boundary layer


The dependence of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production on the marine dimethylsulfide (DMS) flux is modeled with a dynamic description of the gas, aerosol, and aqueous phase processes in a closed air parcel. The results support the conclusion reached in previous work with a steady state model that an approximately linear dependence exists between CCN concentration and DMS flux under typical remote marine conditions. This linearity does not hold for low DMS fluxes (the threshold is typically near 2.5 μmol m^(−2) day^(−1)) because the seasalt particles heterogeneously convert the available SO_2 to sulfate inhibiting the creation of new particles. The conditions under which this linear relationship holds are investigated by a series of sensitivity studies, focusing particular attention on the impact of the timing and frequency of cloud events. We consider the regimes of the model's semiempirical parameters, showing that the uncertainty associated with two such parameters, namely, the nucleation rate scaling factor and the sulfuric acid accommodation coefficient, is sufficient to change the predicted CCN production due to DMS from over 300 cm^(−3) day^(−1) to none. This sensitivity accounts for most of the range of results predicted by previous models of the DMS-CCN system.

Additional Information

© 1994 The American Geophysical Union. Paper number 94JD01932. Received January 10, 1994; Revised June 20, 1994; Accepted July 25, 1994. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant ATM-9307603. Helpful comments by M. O. Andreae and two anonymous reviewers are gratefully appreciated.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023