Dimethyl Sulfide-Induced Increase in Cloud Condensation Nuclei in the Arctic Atmosphere
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles. 35, e2021GB006969. 10.1029/2021GB006969
Oceanic dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions have been recognized as a biological regulator of climate by contributing to cloud formation. Despite decades of research, the climatic role of DMS remains ambiguous largely because of limited observational evidence for DMS-induced cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) enhancement. Here, we report concurrent measurement of DMS, physiochemical properties of aerosol particles, and CCN in the Arctic atmosphere during the phytoplankton bloom period of 2010. We encountered multiple episodes of new particle formation (NPF) and particle growth when DMS mixing ratios were both low and high. The growth of particles to sizes at which they can act as CCN accelerated in response to an increase in atmospheric DMS. Explicitly, the sequential increase in all relevant parameters (including the source rate of condensable vapor, the growth rate of particles, Aitken mode particles, hygroscopicity, and CCN) was pronounced at the DMS-derived NPF and particle growth events. This field study unequivocally demonstrates the previously unconfirmed roles of DMS in the growth of particles into climate-relevant size and eventual CCN activation.