📰 Role of marine biogenic emissions in the Atlantic in the formation of aerosol particles

The western coast of Namibia, facing the Atlantic Ocean, is an open-air laboratory characterized by an almost permanent cover of marine stratus clouds. This is the most efficient cloud regime for reflecting solar radiation back into space, creating a significant negative radiative effect at the top of the cloudsthe atmosphere (The word atmosphere can have several meanings:)which affects the slopes of temperature (Temperature is a physical quantity that is measured with a thermometer and…) waters of Surface (A surface generally refers to the superficial layer of an object. The term a…) of’Atlantic Ocean (The Atlantic Ocean is one of the five oceans on earth. Its area of…) and the balance sheetenergy (In a general sense, energy means anything that enables you to do work, gain energy, etc.) to big scale (The large ladder, also known as a turntable ladder or car ladder, is a…). The knowledge of their optical and microphysical properties, determined by aerosol particles, is therefore of great importance for the climate, both regionally and globally.

Atlantic coast in Namibia.

A study conducted by an international team of researchers whoseUniversity of Cambridge (The University of Cambridge is a world-renowned British university.) in the UK and the CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research, better known by its acronym CNRS, is the largest…) in France studied for the first time the role of biogenic emissions in the seaocean (An ocean is often defined in geography as a vast body of water…) Atlantic on the formation of new aerosol particles, precursors of nuclei condensation (Condensation is the term for the physical phenomenon of the change of state of matter that…) for the clouds. Indeed, the Atlantic South East (Southeast is the direction midway between the southern and eastern cardinal points. Southeast is…) characterized by the system ofboost (The boost[1] (Upwelling in English) is an oceanographic phenomenon that occurs…) Benguela is among the most prolific in World (The word world may refer to:)and can contribute significantly to the exchange of matter (Matter is the substance that makes up every body with a tangible reality. It is…) between ocean and atmosphere.

Out of’observations (Observation is the act of attentively following phenomena without the will to see them…) on the ground during campaign (The landscape, also called rural environment, refers to all cultivated areas…) AEROCLO-sA (aerosols, radiation (Radiation is a transfer of energy in the form of waves or particles that can be…) and clouds in south (Southern is the new name of the railway concession originally operated by Connex South…) Africa) in August-September 2017 in Namibia observed the team in theAir (Air is the mixture of gases that make up the earth’s atmosphere. It is odorless and…) massive concentrations of reactive volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including butenes, emitted from the coastal portion of the Benguela ecosystem. According to our observations, butenes can be found during the day in concentrations three orders of magnitude higher than dimethyl sulfide (In chemistry, a sulfide is a chemical compound or the compound of sulfur with a degree…) (DMS) and could contribute to the formation of new particles in highly productive coastal environments.

Biogenic emissions of VOCs in the sea and new particle formation events, as studied by AEROCLO-sA, are among the most important Engines (An engine is a device that uses non-mechanical energy (wind, chemical, etc.) of the climate system Earth (Earth is the third planet in the solar system in order of distance…), but are not considered in climate models with the exception of dimethyl sulfide (DMS). The possible effects on the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere and the effect of radiation on the climate (Climate is the statistical distribution of atmospheric conditions in a…) require attention.

The formation of sea foam along the coast of Henties Bay (Namibia) during the Aerosols, Radiation and Clouds in Southern Africa campaign.
© Adapted from Giorio et al.

Learn more:

Giorio, C., J.-F. Doussin, B D’Anna, S Mas, D Filippi, C Denjean, M D Mallet, T Bourrianne, F Burnet, M Cazaunau, C Chikwililwa, K Desboeufs, A Feron, V Michoud, A. Namwoonde, MO Andreae, SJ Piketh, and P. Formenti, Butene emissions from coastal ecosystems may contribute to the formation of new particles, Geophys. Resolution Lett., e2022GL098770, 2022.

Formenti P, D’Anna B, Flamant C, Mallet M, Piketh SJ, Schepanski K, Waquet F, Auriol F, Brogniez G, Burnet F, J.-P. Chaboureau, A. Chauvigné, P. Chazette, C. Denjean, K. Desboeufs, J.-F. Doussin, N Elguidi, S Feuerstein, M Gaetani, C Giorio, D Klopper, MD Mallet, A Monod, P Nabat, F Solmon, A Namwoonde, C Chikwililwa, R Mushi, EJ Welton and B. Holben, 2019: The Aerosols, Radiation and Clouds in Southern Africa (AEROCLO-sA) field campaign in Namibia: overview, illustrative observations and further procedure, Bull. At the. meteorol. society, 100, 1277-1298.

Paola Formenti – Interuniversity Laboratory for Atmospheric Systems (LISA /CNRS/UPC/UPEC) – paola.formenti at lisa.ipsl.fr

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