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  1. Abstract

    The oxidation of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is the primary, continuous source of stratospheric sulfate aerosol particles, which can scatter shortwave radiation and catalyze heterogeneous reactions in the stratosphere. While it has been estimated that the oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), emitted from the surface ocean accounts for 8%–20% of the global OCS source, there is no existing DMS oxidation mechanism relevant to the marine atmosphere that is consistent with an OCS source of this magnitude. We describe new laboratory measurements and theoretical analyses of DMS oxidation that provide a mechanistic description for OCS production from hydroperoxymethyl thioformate, a ubiquitous, soluble DMS oxidation product. We incorporate this chemical mechanism into a global chemical transport model, showing that OCS production from DMS is a factor of 3 smaller than current estimates, displays a maximum in the tropics consistent with field observations and is sensitive to multiphase cloud chemistry.

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  2. Abstract

    Aerosols significantly influence atmospheric processes such as cloud nucleation, heterogeneous chemistry, and heavy‐metal transport in the troposphere. The chemical and physical complexity of atmospheric aerosols results in large uncertainties in their climate and health effects. In this article, we review recent advances in scientific understanding of aerosol processes achieved by the application of quantum chemical calculations. In particular, we emphasize recent work in two areas: new particle formation and heterogeneous processes. Details in quantum chemical methods are provided, elaborating on computational models for prenucleation, secondary organic aerosol formation, and aerosol interface phenomena. Modeling of relative humidity effects, aerosol surfaces, and chemical kinetics of reaction pathways is discussed. Because of their relevance, quantum chemical calculations and field and laboratory experiments are compared. In addition to describing the atmospheric relevance of the computational models, this article also presents future challenges in quantum chemical calculations applied to aerosols.

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  3. Abstract

    Oceans are, generally, relatively weak sources of ice nucleating particles (INPs). Thus, dust transported from terrestrial regions can dominate atmospheric INP concentrations even in remote marine regions. Studies of ocean‐emitted INPs have focused upon sea spray aerosols containing biogenic species. Even though large concentrations of dust are transported over marine regions, resuspended dust has never been explicitly considered as another possible source of ocean‐emitted INPs. Current models assume that deposited dust is not re‐emitted from surface waters. Our laboratory studies of aerosol particles produced from coastal seawater and synthetic seawater doped with dust show that dust can indeed be ejected from water during bubble bursting. INP concentration measurements show these ejected dust particles retain ice nucleating activity. Doping synthetic seawater to simulate a strong dust deposition event produced INPs active at temperatures colder than −13°C and INP concentrations 1 to 2 orders of magnitude greater than either lab sea spray or marine boundary layer measurements. The relevance of these laboratory findings is highlighted by single‐particle composition measurements along the Californian coast where at least 9% of dust particles were mixed with sea salt. Additionally, global modeling studies show that resuspension of dust from the ocean could exert the most impact over the Southern Ocean, where ocean‐emitted INPs are thought to dominate atmospheric INP populations. More work characterizing the factors governing the resuspension of dust particles is required to understand the potential impact upon clouds.

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  4. Abstract

    The formation of ice in clouds can strongly impact cloud properties and precipitation processes during storms, including atmospheric rivers. Sea spray aerosol (SSA) particles are relatively inefficient as ice nucleating particles (INPs) compared to mineral dust. However, due to the vast coverage of the Earth's surface by the oceans, a number of recent studies have focused on identifying sources of marine INPs, particularly in regions lacking a strong influence from dust. This study describes the integration, validation, and application of a system coupling a continuous flow diffusion chamber with a single particle mass spectrometer using a pumped counterflow virtual impactor to remove nonnucleated particles and selectively measure the composition of INPs with a detection efficiency of 3.10×10−4. In situ measurements of immersion freezing INP composition were made at a coastal site in California using the integrated system. Mineral dust particles were the most abundant ice crystal residual type during the sampling period and found to be ice active despite having undergone atmospheric processing. SSA were more abundant in ambient measurements but represented only a minor fraction of the ice crystal residual population at −31 °C. Notably, the SSA particles that activated were enriched with organic nitrogen species that were likely transferred from the ocean. Calculations of ice nucleation active site densities were within good agreement with previous studies of mineral dust and SSA.

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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  6. Organic chromophores initiate much of daytime aqueous phase chemistry in the environment. Thus, studying the absorption spectra of commonly used organic photosensitizers is paramount to fully understand their relevance in environmental processes. In this work, we combined UV-Vis spectroscopy, 1 H-NMR spectroscopy, quantum chemical calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the absorption spectra of 4-benzoyl benzoic acid (4BBA), a widely used photosensitizer and a common proxy of environmentally relevant chromophores. Solutions of 4BBA at different pH values show that protonated and deprotonated species have an effect on its absorbance spectra. Theoretical calculations of these species in water clusters provide physical and chemical insights into the spectra. Quantum chemical calculations were conducted to analyze the UV-Vis absorbance spectra of 4BBA species using various cluster sizes, such as C 6 H 5 COC 6 H 4 COOH·(H 2 O) n , where n = 8 for relatively small clusters and n = 30 for larger clusters. While relatively small clusters have been successfully used for smaller chromophores, our results indicate that simulations of protonated species of 4BBA require relatively larger clusters of n = 30. A comparison between the experimental and theoretical results shows good agreement in the pH-dependent spectral shift between the hydrated cluster model and the experimental data. Overall, the theoretical and empirical results indicate that the experimental optical spectra of aqueous phase 4BBA can be represented by the acid–base equilibrium of the keto-forms, with a spectroscopically measured p K a of 3.41 ± 0.04. The results summarized here contribute to a molecular-level understanding of solvated organic molecules through calculations restricted to cluster models, and thereby, broader insight into environmentally relevant chromophores. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 5, 2024