An evaluation of the potential radiative forcing and climatic impact of marine organic aerosols as heterogeneous ice nuclei

Authors

  • Yuxing Yun,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    2. Now at AOS Program, Princeton University/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
    • Corresponding author: Y. Yun, AOS Program, Princeton University/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, 300 Forrestal Road, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. (Yuxing.Yun@noaa.gov)

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  • Joyce E. Penner

    1. Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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Abstract

[1] Observational evidence demonstrates that marine organic aerosols (MOA) are able to act as ice nuclei. MOA explains a substantial portion of the submicron marine aerosol, so that they have the potential to effectively influence marine cloud microphysics and cloud radiative forcing. This study provides the first evaluation of the radiative forcing and climatic impact of marine organic aerosols as ice nuclei on a global scale. MOA is implemented into a coupled aerosol and general circulation model. It is found that MOA contributes to more ice formation than dust or black carbon/organic matter in mixed-phase clouds. They also have a significant impact on the ice water path in the Southern Hemisphere and therefore could be an important missing source of ice nuclei in current models. The addition of MOA as natural heterogeneous ice nuclei reduces the magnitude of the total top-of-atmosphere anthropogenic aerosol forcing by as much as 0.3 W/m2.

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