An Aerosol Climatology and Implications for Clouds at a Remote Marine Site: Case Study Over Bermuda

Abdulmonam M. Aldhaif, David H. Lopez, Hossein Dadashazar, David Painemal, Andrew J. Peters, Armin Sorooshian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aerosol characteristics and aerosol–cloud interactions remain uncertain in remote marine regions. We use over a decade of data (2000–2012) from the NASA AErosol RObotic NETwork, aerosol and wet deposition samples, satellite remote sensors, and models to examine aerosol and cloud droplet number characteristics at a representative open ocean site (Bermuda) over the Western North Atlantic Ocean (WNAO). Annual mean values were as follows: aerosol optical depth (AOD) = 0.12, Ångström Exponent (440/870 nm) = 0.95, fine mode fraction = 0.51, asymmetry factor = 0.72 (440 nm) and 0.68 (1020 nm), and Aqua-MODIS cloud droplet number concentrations = 51.3 cm−3. The winter season (December–February) was characterized by high sea salt optical thickness and the highest aerosol extinction in the lowest 2 km. Extensive precipitation over the WNAO in winter helps contribute to the low FMFs in winter (∼0.40–0.50) even though air trajectories often originate over North America. Spring and summer had more pronounced influence from sulfate, dust, organic carbon, and black carbon. Volume size distributions were bimodal with a dominant coarse mode (effective radii: 1.85–2.09 µm) and less pronounced fine mode (0.14–0.16 µm), with variability in the coarse mode likely due to different characteristic sizes for transported dust (smaller) versus regional sea salt (larger). Extreme pollution events highlight the sensitivity of this site to long-range transport of urban emissions, dust, and smoke. Differing annual cycles are identified between AOD and cloud droplet number concentrations, motivating a deeper look into aerosol–cloud interactions at this site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JD034038
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume126
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2021

Keywords

  • ACTIVATE
  • aerosol
  • African dust
  • Bermuda
  • EVS-3
  • sea salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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