Link Between Arctic Tropospheric BrO Explosion Observed From Space and Sea-Salt...

Choi, S., N. Theys, R. Salawitch, P. A. Wales, J. Joiner, T. T. P. Canty, K. Chance, R. Suleiman, S. P. Palm, R. Cullather, A. S. Darmenov, A. da Silva, T. Kurosu, F. Hendrick, and M. Van Roozendael (2018), Link Between Arctic Tropospheric BrO Explosion Observed From Space and Sea-Salt Aerosols From Blowing Snow Investigated Using Ozone Monitoring Instrument, J. Geophys. Res., 123, 6954-6983, doi:10.1029/2017JD026889.

Bromine radicals (Br + BrO) are important atmospheric species owing to their ability to catalytically destroy ozone as well as their potential impacts on the oxidative pathways of many trace gases, including dimethylsulfide and mercury. Using space-based observations of BrO, recent studies have reported rapid enhancements of tropospheric BrO over large areas (so called “BrO explosions”) connected to near-surface ozone depletion occurring in polar spring. However, the source(s) of reactive bromine and mechanism(s) that initiate these BrO explosions are uncertain. In this study, we investigate the relationships between Arctic BrO explosions and two of the proposed sources of reactive bromine: sea-salt aerosol (SSA) generated from blowing snow and first-year (seasonal) sea ice. We use tropospheric column BrO derived from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) in conjunction with the Goddard Earth Observing System Version 5 (GEOS-5) data assimilation system provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. Case studies demonstrate a strong association between the temporal and spatial extent of OMI-observed BrO explosions and the GEOS-5 simulated blowing snow-generated SSA during Arctic spring. Furthermore, the frequency of BrO explosion events observed over the 11-year record of OMI exhibits significant correlation with a time series of the simulated SSA emission flux in the Arctic and little to no correlation with a time series of satellite-based first-year sea ice area. Therefore, we conclude that SSA generated by blowing snow is an important factor in the formation of the BrO explosion observed from space during Arctic spring.

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