Observed aerosol effects on marine cloud nucleation and supersaturation

Lynn M. Russell, Armin Sorooshian, John H. Seinfeld, Bruce A. Albrecht, Athanasios Nenes, W. Richard Leaitch, Anne Marie Macdonald, Lars Ahlm, Yi Chun Chen, Matthew Coggon, Ashley Corrigan, Jill S. Craven, Richard C. Flagan, Amanda A. Frossard, Lelia N. Hawkins, Haflidi Jonsson, Eunsil Jung, Jack J. Lin, Andrew R. Metcalf, Robin ModiniJohannes Mülmenstädt, Greg C. Roberts, Taylor Shingler, Siwon Song, Zhen Wang, Anna Wonaschütz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aerosol particles in the marine boundary layer include primary organic and salt particles from sea spray and combustion-derived particles from ships and coastal cities. These particle types serve as nuclei for marine cloud droplet activation, although the particles that activate depend on the particle size and composition as well as the supersaturation that results from cloud updraft velocities. The Eastern Pacific Emitted Aerosol Cloud Experiment (EPEACE) 2011 was a targeted aircraft campaign to assess how different particle types nucleate cloud droplets. As part of E-PEACE 2011, we studied the role of marine particles as cloud droplet nuclei and used emitted particle sources to separate particle-induced feedbacks from dynamical variability. The emitted particle sources included shipboard smoke-generated particles with 0.05-1 μm diameters (which produced tracks measured by satellite and had drop composition characteristic of organic smoke) and combustion particles from container ships with 0.05-0.2 μm diameters (which were measured in a variety of conditions with droplets containing both organic and sulfate components) [1]. Three central aspects of the collaborative E-PEACE results are: (1) the size and chemical composition of the emitted smoke particles compared to ship-track-forming cargo ship emissions as well as background marine particles, with particular attention to the role of organic particles, (2) the characteristics of cloud track formation for smoke and cargo ships, as well as the role of multi-layered low clouds, and (3) the implications of these findings for quantifying aerosol indirect effects. For comparison with the E-PEACE results, the preliminary results of the Stratocumulus Observations of Los-Angeles Emissions Derived Aerosol-Droplets (SOLEDAD) 2012 provided evidence of the cloud-nucleating roles of both marine organic particles and coastal urban pollution, with simultaneous measurements of the effective supersaturations of the clouds in the California coastal region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNucleation and Atmospheric Aerosols - 19th International Conference
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2013
Event19th International Conference on Nucleation and Atmospheric Aerosols, ICNAA 2013 - Fort Collins, CO, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 28 2013

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other19th International Conference on Nucleation and Atmospheric Aerosols, ICNAA 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Collins, CO


  • Aerosol-Cloud Interactions
  • Atmospheric Aerosol
  • Cloud Properties
  • Marine Aerosol
  • Marine Boundary Layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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