Comparison of primary organic sea spray emissions in global atmospheric models

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 14:55
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Small marine aerosol particles (e.g., < 500 nm) frequently contain large fractions of organic matter, present in highly enriched ratios relative to salt concentrations. This has typically been attributed to the enrichment of organic matter in the films of bubbles bursting at the ocean surface, which are the origin of primary sea spray aerosol. During the past decade, a number of different parameterizations of the organic mass fraction of sea spray aerosol have been proposed and implemented in global climate and chemical transport models. These parameterizations, and the resulting simulated sea spray aerosol chemistry, have to our knowledge not yet been systematically compared between different global atmospheric models.

Results will be presented from a comparison of different parameterizations as implemented within different model environments, including an early version of the Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME), and the GLOMAP chemical transport model. Additional modelling groups will be invited to submit simulations for inclusion in a broader intercomparison.

Simulations using multiple parameterizations of sea spray aerosol chemistry within different models will be compared with each other. Differences in simulated marine aerosol concentrations and chemistry will be assessed with respect to both the parameterization of sea spray aerosol chemistry, and to other differences in the model environment. Simulated marine aerosol concentrations and chemistry will also be compared with climatological observations of sea salt mass concentrations, total organic carbon from marine and marine-influenced samples, and organic mass fraction of submicron marine aerosol.

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