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Contribution of Arctic seabird-colony ammonia to atmospheric particles and cloud-albedo radiative effect
Croft, B.; Wentworth, G.R.; Martin, R.V.; Leaitch, W.R.; Murphy, J.G.; Murphy, B.N.; Kodros, J.K.; Abbatt, J.P.D.; Pierce, J.R. (2016). Contribution of Arctic seabird-colony ammonia to atmospheric particles and cloud-albedo radiative effect. Nature Comm. 7(13444): 10 pp. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/ncomms13444
In: Nature Communications. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2041-1723; e-ISSN 2041-1723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Croft, B.
  • Wentworth, G.R.
  • Martin, R.V.
  • Leaitch, W.R.
  • Murphy, J.G.
  • Murphy, B.N.
  • Kodros, J.K.
  • Abbatt, J.P.D.
  • Pierce, J.R.

Abstract
    The Arctic region is vulnerable to climate change and able to affect global climate. The summertime Arctic atmosphere is pristine and strongly influenced by natural regional emissions, which have poorly understood climate impacts related to atmospheric particles and clouds. Here we show that ammonia from seabird-colony guano is a key factor contributing to bursts of newly formed particles, which are observed every summer in the near-surface atmosphere at Alert, Nunavut, Canada. Our chemical-transport model simulations indicate that the pan-Arctic seabird-influenced particles can grow by sulfuric acid and organic vapour condensation to diameters sufficiently large to promote pan-Arctic cloud-droplet formation in the clean Arctic summertime. We calculate that the resultant cooling tendencies could be large (about -0.5Wm(-2) pan-Arctic-mean cooling), exceeding -1Wm(-2) near the largest seabird colonies due to the effects of seabird-influenced particles on cloud albedo. These coupled ecological-chemical processes may be susceptible to Arctic warming and industrialization.

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