Stony Brook University
Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and as such are a significant source of aerosol particles. Ocean surface waters are enriched with dissolved organic matter (DOM), a complex mixture of molecules formed from the activities of planktonic microorganisms. The sea-air transfer of organic molecules means that any change in seawater DOM has the potential to alter the chemical composition of the corresponding sea spray aerosol (SSA) which becomes airborne by waves breaking and bubbles bursting at the sea surface. In this talk, I will discuss processes which control the formation and characteristics of SSA, how they are evolving in a changing environment, and the use of metabolomics analyses with high-resolution mass spectrometry platforms to examine the DOM composition and potentially trace ocean-atmosphere compound transfer. Our climate and oceans are rapidly changing making these kinds of analyses invaluable for improving our understanding of interconnections between aerosols, clouds, and marine ecosystems.