Constraints on elemental composition of fine and coarse aerosols

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 08:00
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Aerosol impacts on atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry, radiative forcing and cloud nucleation are highly dependent on composition. While substantial effort has been made to better understand the important contribution of different compositions to cloud condensation nuclei and anthropogenic radiative forcing, fewer studies focus on the elemental distribution of the fine and coarse mode aerosols, which are more important for biogeochemistry, radiative effects of desert dust aerosols, as well as ice nucleation. Here we discuss on-going efforts to compile and synthesize diverse datasets providing size-resolved information about aerosols, for example from COARSE-MAP. In addition, we highlight the role of future efforts that will provide vital information about an important source of aerosol with a diverse composition: soil dust particles. The new NASA EMIT (Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation) will provide detailed mineralogy information using imaging spectroscopy, which will be input into chemical transport models to better constrain radiative forcing from dust, but can also be used to improve estimates of more general compositional effects of dust.

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