New particle formation events observed at the King Sejong Station, Antarctic Peninsula – Part 2: Link with the oceanic biological activities

Jang, Eunho; Park, Ki-Tae; Yoon, Young Jun; Kim, Tae-Wook; Hong, Sang-Bum; Becagli, Silvia; Traversi, Rita; Kim, Jaeseok; Gim, Yeontae

Marine biota is an important source of atmospheric aerosol particles in the remote marine atmosphere. However, the relationship between new particle formation and marine biota is poorly quantified. Long-term observations (from 2009 to 2016) of the physical properties of atmospheric aerosol particles measured at the Antarctic Peninsula (King Sejong Station; 62.2 S, 58.8 W) and satellite-derived estimates of the biological characteristics were analyzed to identify the link between new particle formation and marine biota. New particle formation events in the Antarctic atmosphere showed distinct seasonal variations, with the highest values occurring when the air mass originated from the ocean domain during the productive austral summer (December, January and February). Interestingly, new particle formation events were more frequent in the air masses that originated from the Bellingshausen Sea than in those that originated from the Weddell Sea. The monthly mean number concentration of nanoparticles (2.5–10 nm in diameter) was >2-fold higher when the air masses passed over the Bellingshausen Sea than the Weddell Sea, whereas the biomass of phytoplankton in the Weddell Sea was more than ∼70 % higher than that of the Bellingshausen Sea during the austral summer period. Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is of marine origin and its oxidative products are known to be one of the major components in the formation of new particles. Both satellite-derived estimates of the biological characteristics (dimethylsulfoniopropionate, DMSP; precursor of DMS) and phytoplankton taxonomic composition and in situ methanesulfonic acid (84 daily measurements during the summer period in 2013 and 2014) analysis revealed that DMS(P)-rich phytoplankton were more dominant in the Bellingshausen Sea than in the Weddell Sea. Furthermore, the number concentration of nanoparticles was positively correlated with the biomass of phytoplankton during the period when DMS(P)-rich phytoplankton predominate. These results indicate that oceanic DMS emissions could play a key role in the formation of new particles; moreover, the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton could affect the formation of new particles in the Antarctic Ocean.

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Jang, Eunho / Park, Ki-Tae / Yoon, Young Jun / et al: New particle formation events observed at the King Sejong Station, Antarctic Peninsula – Part 2: Link with the oceanic biological activities. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Eunho Jang et al.

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