Characteristics and sources of fluorescent aerosols in the central Arctic Ocean

The Arctic is sensitive to cloud radiative forcing. Due to the limited number of aerosols present throughout much of the year, cloud formation is susceptible to the presence of cloud condensation nuclei and ice nucleating particles (INPs). Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) contribute to INPs and can impact cloud phase, lifetime, and radiative properties. We present yearlong observations of hyperfluorescent aerosols (HFA), tracers for PBAP, conducted with a Wideband Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor, New Electronics Option during the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition (October 2019–September 2020) in the central Arctic. We investigate the influence of potential anthropogenic and natural sources on the characteristics of the HFA and relate our measurements to INP observations during MOSAiC. Anthropogenic sources influenced HFA during the Arctic haze period. But surprisingly, we also found sporadic “bursts” of HFA with the characteristics of PBAP during this time, albeit with unclear origin. The characteristics of HFA between May and August 2020 and in October 2019 indicate a strong contribution of PBAP to HFA. Notably from May to August, PBAP coincided with the presence of INPs nucleating at elevated temperatures, that is, >−9°C, suggesting that HFA contributed to the “warm INP” concentration. The air mass residence time and area between May and August and in October were dominated by the open ocean and sea ice, pointing toward PBAP sources from within the Arctic Ocean. As the central Arctic changes drastically due to climate warming with expected implications on aerosol–cloud interactions, we recommend targeted observations of PBAP that reveal their nature (e.g., bacteria, diatoms, fungal spores) in the atmosphere and in relevant surface sources, such as the sea ice, snow on sea ice, melt ponds, leads, and open water, to gain further insights into the relevant source processes and how they might change in the future.


Publication status:
Authors: Beck, Ivo, Moallemi, Alireza, Heutte, Benjamin, Pernov, Jakob Boyd, Bergner, Nora, Rolo, Margarida, Quelever, Lauriane L.J., Laurila, Tiia, Boyer, Matthew, Jokinen, Tuija, Angot, Helene, Hoppe, Clara J.M., Muller, Oliver, Creamean, Jessie, Frey, Markus ORCIDORCID record for Markus Frey, Freitas, Gabriel, Zinke, Julika, Salter, Matt, Zieger, Paul, Mirrielees, Jessica A., Kempf, Hailey E, Ault, Andrew P., Pratt, Kerri A., Gysel-Beer, Martin, Henning, Silvia, Tatzelt, Christian, Schmale, Julia

On this site: Markus Frey
30 May, 2024
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene / 12
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