Morgan State University
Over the past 30 years, we have focused our aerosol research on questions of atmospheric climate impact through interaction with radiation and cloud processes. Additional attention has been paid to aerosols as they are imputed in air quality issues. Less attention has been given to the role aerosols play in feedback processes in aquatic ecosystems. Aerosols transported from remote sources are deposited onto the ocean and inland water bodies, and provide nutrients for phytoplankton and other organisms. At the same time, these organisms also produce and release aerosols and aerosol precursors back into the atmosphere. These processes affect CO2 removal and export, and some studies have indicated that cloud albedo and cloud lifetime also depend on these complex atmospheric-ecological interactions. This presentation will synthesize some of the current knowledge about aerosols and their impacts in the remote ocean. In particular, I will discuss the role of marine biogenic aerosols and dust originating at high latitudes and will discuss their occurrence in the marine environment through their production, transformation and deposition. Although their existence has been recognized for years, and their global effects, marine aerosols and high latitude dust are difficult to observe and quantify. In-situ observations are limited, and current satellite platforms are not well equipped to detect them. As a result, our understanding of these aerosols and their impacts are quite limited. The presentation will provide an update of the status of our knowledge and understanding of the marine biogenic aerosols and high latitude dust. I will also highlight the current capabilities and weaknesses in models and satellite detectors to study them. In the context of future satellite platforms under discussion (such as PACE and ACE), I will also discuss whether better characterization of these aerosols will be achieved.