Dimethyl sulfide air-sea fluxes and biogenic sulfur as a source of new aerosols in the Arctic fall

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Abstract

[1] Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and its oxidation products, which have been proposed to provide a climate feedback mechanism by affecting aerosol and cloud radiative properties, were measured on board the Canadian Coast Guard ship Amundsen in sampling campaigns in the Arctic in the fall of 2007 and 2008. DMS flux was calculated based on the surface water measurements and yielded 0.1–2.6 μmol m−2 d−1 along the Northwest Passage in 2007 and 0.2–1.3 μmol m−2 d−1 along Baffin Bay in 2008. DMS oxidation products, sulfur dioxide (SO2), methane sulfonic acid (MSA), and sulfate in aerosols were also measured. The amounts of biogenic SO2 and sulfate were approximated using stable isotope apportionment techniques. Calculating the threshold amount of SO2 needed for significant new particle formation from the formulation by Pirjola et al. (1999), the study suggests that instances of elevated biogenic SO2 concentrations (between 8 and 9 September 2008) derived using conservative assumptions may have been sufficient to form new aerosols in clean air conditions in the Arctic region.

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