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A marine biogenic source of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles

Wilson, Theodore W and Ladino, Luis A and Alpert, Peter A and Breckels, Mark N and Brooks, Ian M and Browse, Jo and Burrows, Susannah M and Carslaw, Kenneth S and Huffman, J Alex and Judd, Christopher and Kilthau, Wendy P and Mason, Ryan H and McFiggans, Gordon and Miller, Lisa A and Nájera, Juan J and Polishchuk, Elena and Rae, Stuart and Schiller, Corinne L and Si, Meng and Temprado, Jesús Vergara and Whale, Thomas F and Wong, Jenny P S and Wurl, Oliver and Yakobi-Hancock, Jacqueline D and Abbatt, Jonathan P D and Aller, Josephine Y and Bertram, Allan K and Knopf, Daniel A and Murray, Benjamin J (2015) 'A marine biogenic source of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles.' Nature, 525 (7568). pp. 234-238. ISSN 0028-0836

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Abstract

The amount of ice present in clouds can affect cloud lifetime, precipitation and radiative properties1, 2. The formation of ice in clouds is facilitated by the presence of airborne ice-nucleating particles1, 2. Sea spray is one of the major global sources of atmospheric particles, but it is unclear to what extent these particles are capable of nucleating ice3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Sea-spray aerosol contains large amounts of organic material that is ejected into the atmosphere during bubble bursting at the organically enriched sea–air interface or sea surface microlayer12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Here we show that organic material in the sea surface microlayer nucleates ice under conditions relevant for mixed-phase cloud and high-altitude ice cloud formation. The ice-nucleating material is probably biogenic and less than approximately 0.2 micrometres in size. We find that exudates separated from cells of the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana nucleate ice, and propose that organic material associated with phytoplankton cell exudates is a likely candidate for the observed ice-nucleating ability of the microlayer samples. Global model simulations of marine organic aerosol, in combination with our measurements, suggest that marine organic material may be an important source of ice-nucleating particles in remote marine environments such as the Southern Ocean, North Pacific Ocean and North Atlantic Ocean.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Michael Steinke
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 09:59
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2016 09:59
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17251

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