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A study investigating the distribution of organic aerosol in the North Atlantic Ocean published in Nature Scientific Reports

This study resulting from the *DeepWater Expedition and a collaboration between scientists of the GAP, ISE and FOREL linking the distribution of aerosols with surface ocean dynamics has just been published in Nature Scientific Reports.

Kasparian, J., Hassler, C., Ibelings, B.W., Berti, N., Bigorre, S., Djambazova, V., Gascon-Diez, E., Giuliani, G., Houlmann, R., Kiselev, D., de Laborie, P., Le, A.-D., Magouroux, T., Neri, T., and others, 2017, Assessing the Dynamics of Organic Aerosols over the North Atlantic Ocean: Scientific Reports, v. 7, p. 45476.


The influence of aerosols on climate is highly dependent on the particle size distribution, concentration, and composition. In particular, the latter influences their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei, whereby they impact cloud coverage and precipitation. Here, we simultaneously measured the concentration of aerosols from sea spray over the North Atlantic on board the exhaust-free solar-powered vessel “PlanetSolar”, and the sea surface physico-chemical parameters. We identified organic-bearing particles based on individual particle fluorescence spectra. Organic-bearing aerosols display specific spatio-temporal distributions as compared to total aerosols. We propose an empirical parameterization of the organic-bearing particle concentration, with a dependence on water salinity and sea-surface temperature only. We also show that a very rich mixture of organic aerosols is emitted from the sea surface. Such data will certainly contribute to providing further insight into the influence of aerosols on cloud formation, and be used as input for the improved modeling of aerosols and their role in global climate processes.

3 Apr 2017

News 2017