From a polar to a marine environment: has the changing Arctic led to a shift in aerosol light scattering properties?
Aerosol particles are a key-player for the Arctic climate. Using long-term measurements of particle light scattering from Zeppelin Observatory on Svalbard, this study investigates the reasons behind an observed shift towards larger particles seen in the last two decades. The authors find that increases in sea spray are the most likely cause, given both a decrease in the scattering Ångström exponent (used as a proxy for size) and an increase in the light scattered by particles. Air masses from the south-west have increased significantly, suggestive of a potential mechanism, whilst the retreat in sea ice has had a minimal influence.
Reference: Heslin-Rees, D., Burgos, M., Hansson, H.-C., et al. (2002). From a polar to a marine environment: has the changing Arctic led to a shift in aerosol light scattering properties? Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 13671-13686. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-13671-2020, 2020