Insights into the molecular composition of semi-volatile aerosols in the summertime central Arctic Ocean using FIGAERO-CIMS†
The remote central Arctic during summertime has a pristine atmosphere with very low aerosol particle concentrations. As the region becomes increasingly ice-free during summer, enhanced ocean-atmosphere fluxes of aerosol particles and precursor gases may therefore have impacts on the climate. However, large knowledge gaps remain regarding the sources and physicochemical properties of aerosols in this region. Here, we present insights into the molecular composition of semi-volatile aerosol components collected in September 2018 during the MOCCHA (Microbiology-Ocean-Cloud-Coupling in the High Arctic) campaign as part of the Arctic Ocean 2018 expedition with the Swedish Icebreaker Oden. Analysis was performed offline in the laboratory using an iodide High Resolution Time-of-Flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer with a Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO-HRToF-CIMS). Our analysis revealed significant signal from organic and sulfur-containing compounds, indicative of marine aerosol sources, with a wide range of carbon numbers and O : C ratios. Several of the sulfur-containing compounds are oxidation products of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a gas released by phytoplankton and ice algae. Comparison of the time series of particulate and gas-phase DMS oxidation products did not reveal a significant correlation, indicative of the different lifetimes of precursor and oxidation products in the different phases. This is the first time the FIGAERO-HRToF-CIMS was used to investigate the composition of aerosols in the central Arctic. The detailed information on the molecular composition of Arctic aerosols presented here can be used for the assessment of aerosol solubility and volatility, which is relevant for understanding aerosol–cloud interactions.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Best Papers of 2021 from RSC’s Environmental Science journals, Best Papers 2021 - Environmental Science: Atmospheres and Celebrating Environmental Science: Atmospheres’ First Year