Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU)

Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry Group (APCG)


Ongoing Projects

Modeling sea spray aerosol

Monique Albert


Sea spray aerosol strongly influences the climate, through both the direct and the indirect effect. Global climate models require a sea spray source function flux, i.e. the flux of sea spray aerosol across the air-sea interface, currently parameterized in terms of wind speed or friction velocity with an uncertainty of a factor of 3-5.
The aim of the project is to provide estimates of the surface flux of primary marine aerosol, i.e. the global emission of sea spray per unit surface area per unit of time, using data from various satellites, such as wind speed, wave conditions, whitecap cover, sea surface temperature and chlorophyll. The satellites provide direct global observations, as opposed to point measurements, model parameterizations, or climatology. The inherent spatial variability of the observed parameters is expected to better explain reported differences in sea spray aerosol concentrations. Results will be validated versus point measurements from various field campaigns.