Soot and sulfate aerosol particles in the remote marine troposphere


  • Mihály Pósfai,

  • James R. Anderson,

  • Peter R. Buseck,

  • Herman Sievering


Sulfate aerosol particles containing soot aggregates were observed in the marine troposphere in both hemispheres under conditions that ranged from extremely clean to heavily polluted. Even in clean air above the remote Southern Ocean during the First Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE 1), depending on the sample, between 10 and 45% of sulfate particles contained soot inclusions. We identified aircraft emissions and biomass burning as the most likely major sources of soot. Internally mixed soot and sulfate appear to comprise a globally significant fraction of aerosols in the troposphere. Anthropogenic combustion aerosols can thus potentially change the radiative climate effects of sulfate aerosols and may have an impact on cloud properties even in the remote troposphere.