Global modelling of tropospheric iodine aerosol

Tomás M. Sherwen, Mat J. Evans, Dominick V. Spracklen, Lucy J. Carpenter, Rosie Chance, Alex R. Baker, Johan A. Schmidt, Thomas J. Breider

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Natural aerosols play a central role in the Earth system. The conversion of dimethyl sulfide to sulfuric acid is the dominant source of oceanic secondary aerosol. Ocean emitted iodine can also produce aerosol. Using a GEOS-Chem model we present a simulation of iodine aerosol. The simulation compares well with the limited observational dataset. Iodine aerosol concentrations are highest in the tropical marine-boundary layer (MBL) averaging 5.2 ng (I) m-3 with monthly maximum concentrations of 90 ng (I) m-3. These masses are small compared to sulfate (0.75% of MBL burden, up to 11% regionally) but are more significant compared to DMS sourced sulfate (3% of the MBL burden, up to 101% regionally). In the pre-industrial, iodine aerosol makes up 0.88 % of the MBL burden sulfate mass and regionally up to 21%. Iodine aerosol may be an important regional mechanism for ocean-atmosphere interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10012–10019
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
Early online date4 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2016


  • iodine
  • aerosol
  • dimethyl sulfide
  • marine boundary layer
  • DMS
  • sulfate

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