National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2000

A comparison of aerosol chemical and optical properties from the 1st and 2nd Aerosol Characterization Experiments

Quinn, P.K., T.S. Bates, D.J. Coffman, T.L. Miller, J.E. Johnson, D.S. Covert, J.-P. Putaud, C. Neusüß, and T. Novakov

Tellus, 52B(2), 239–257, doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2000.00033.x (2000)

Shipboard measurements of aerosol chemical composition and optical properties were made during both ACE-1 and ACE-2. ACE-1 focused on remote marine aerosol minimally perturbed by continental sources. ACE-2 studied the outflow of European aerosol into the NE Atlantic atmosphere. A variety of air masses were sampled during ACE-2 including Atlantic, polar, Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean, and Western European. Reported here are mass size distributions of non-sea salt (nss) sulfate, sea salt, and methanesulfonate and submicron and supermicron concentrations of black and organic carbon. Optical parameters include submicron and supermicron aerosol scattering and backscattering coefficients at 550 nm, the absorption coefficient at 550 ± 20 nm, the Ångström exponent for the 550 and 700 nm wavelength pair, and single scattering albedo at 550 nm. All data are reported at the measurement relative humidity of 55%. Measured concentrations of nss sulfate aerosol indicate that, relative to ACE-1, ACE-2 aerosol during both marine and continental flow was impacted by continental sources. Thus, while sea salt controlled the aerosol chemical composition and optical properties of both the submicron and supermicron aerosol during ACE-1, it played a relatively smaller role in ACE-2. This is confirmed by the larger average Ångström component for ACE-2 continental aerosol of 1.2 ± 0.26 compared to the ACE-1 average of -0.03 ± 0.38. The depletion of chloride from sea salt aerosol in ACE-2 continental air masses averaged 55 ± 25% over all particle sizes. This compares to the ACE-2 marine average of 4.8 ± 18% and indicates the enhanced interaction of anthropogenic acids with sea salt as continental air masses are transported into the marine atmosphere. Single scattering albedos averaged 0.95 ± 0.03 for ACE-2 continental air masses. Averages for ACE-2 and ACE-1 marine air masses were 0.98 ± 0.01 and 0.99 ± 0.01, respectively.

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