• Open Access

Direct radiative effects of sea salt for the Mediterranean region under conditions of low to moderate wind speeds



[1] This study deals with the direct radiative effect of sea salt on the regional scale, within both the shortwave and longwave ranges. The COSMO-ART model system has been extended and applied for a large part of Europe and adjacent waters within this investigation. For the radiation calculations, we determined the sea salt optical properties based on Mie calculations, giving the optical properties for the three sea salt modes and eight spectral intervals. The simulated sea salt aerosol optical depth is found to show strong dependence on the 10 m wind speed under cloud-free conditions. This relation is best represented by a power law fit and compares well with satellite observations. For clear-sky conditions, the simulated sea salt direct radiative effects on the shortwave and longwave radiative budgets are approximately of the same order of magnitude, but with opposite signs. This causes the net radiative effect to approach zero, which leads to a low impact on the temperature for this area.