Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1271
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1271
06 May 2024
 | 06 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Modeling the contribution of leads to sea spray aerosol in the high Arctic

Rémy Lapere, Louis Marelle, Pierre Rampal, Laurent Brodeau, Christian Melsheimer, Gunnar Spreen, and Jennie L. Thomas

Abstract. Elongated open water areas in sea ice (leads) release sea spray particles to the atmosphere. However, there is limited knowledge on the amount, properties and drivers of sea spray emitted from leads, and no existing parameterization of this process is available for use in models. In this work, we use measurements of aerosol fluxes from Nilsson et al. (2001) to produce an estimate of the location, timing and amount of sea spray emissions from leads at the scale of the Arctic Ocean for one year. Lead fractions are derived using sea ice data sets from numerical models and satellite detection. The proposed parameterization estimates that leads account for 0.3 %–3 % of the annual sea salt aerosol number emissions in the high Arctic. Assuming similar size distribution as emissions from the open ocean, leads account for 30 %–85 % of mass emissions in sea ice regions. The total annual mass of sea salt emitted from leads, 0.1–1.9 Tg yr-1, is comparable to the mass of sea salt aerosol transported above sea ice from the open ocean, according to the MERRA-2 reanalysis. In addition to providing the first estimates of possible upper and lower bounds of sea spray emissions from leads, the conceptual model developed in this work is implemented and tested in the regional atmospheric chemistry model WRF-Chem. Given the estimates obtained in this work, the impact of sea spray from leads on Arctic clouds and radiative budget needs to be further explored.

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Rémy Lapere, Louis Marelle, Pierre Rampal, Laurent Brodeau, Christian Melsheimer, Gunnar Spreen, and Jennie L. Thomas

Status: open (until 29 Jun 2024)

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Rémy Lapere, Louis Marelle, Pierre Rampal, Laurent Brodeau, Christian Melsheimer, Gunnar Spreen, and Jennie L. Thomas

Model code and software

Modeling the contribution of leads to sea spray aerosol in the high Arctic R. Lapere https://zenodo.org/doi/10.5281/zenodo.10782398

Rémy Lapere, Louis Marelle, Pierre Rampal, Laurent Brodeau, Christian Melsheimer, Gunnar Spreen, and Jennie L. Thomas

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Short summary
Elongated open water areas in sea ice, called leads, can release marine aerosols into the atmosphere. In the Arctic, this source of atmospheric particles could play an important role for climate. However, the amount, seasonality and spatial distribution of such emissions are mostly unknown. Here, we propose a first parameterization for sea spray aerosols emitted through leads in sea ice and quantify their impact on aerosol populations in the high Arctic.