Oxygenated volatile organic chemicals in the oceans: Inferences and implications based on atmospheric observations and air-sea exchange models

H. B. Sing, A. Tabazadeh, M. J. Evans, B. D. Field, D. J. Jacob, G. Sachse, J. H. Crawford, R. Shetter, William Henry Brune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Airborne measurements of oxygenated volatile organic chemicals (OVOC), OH free radicals, and tracers of pollution were performed over the Pacific during Winter/Spring of 2001. We interpret atmospheric observations of acetaldehyde, propanal, methanol, and acetone with the help of a global 3-D model and an air-sea exchange model to assess their oceanic budgets. We infer that surface waters of the Pacific are greatly supersaturated with acetaldehyde and propanal. Bulk surface seawater concentration of 7 nM (10-9 mol L-1) and 2 nM and net fluxes of 1.1 × 10-12 g cm-2 s-1 and 0.4 × 10-12 g cm s-1 are calculated for acetaldehyde and propanal, respectively. Large surface seawater concentrations are also estimated for methanol (100 nM) and acetone (10 nM) corresponding to an undersaturation of 6% and 14%, and a deposition velocity of 0.08 cm s-1 and 0.10 cm s-1, respectively. These data imply a large oceanic source for acetaldehyde and propanal, and a modest sink for methanol and acetone. Assuming a 50- 100 meter mixed layer, an extremely large oceanic reservoir of OVOC, exceeding the atmospheric reservoir by an order of magnitude, can be inferred to be present. Available seawater data are both preliminary and extremely limited but indicate rather low bulk OVOC concentrations and provide no support for the existence of a large oceanic reservoir. We speculate on the causes and implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-11
Number of pages3
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume30
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2003

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acetaldehyde
inference
oceans
acetone
methanol
methyl alcohol
air
ocean
seawater
deposition velocity
free radical
pollution
sinks
surface water
budgets
free radicals
winter
mixed layer
tracers
tracer

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Sing, H. B. ; Tabazadeh, A. ; Evans, M. J. ; Field, B. D. ; Jacob, D. J. ; Sachse, G. ; Crawford, J. H. ; Shetter, R. ; Brune, William Henry. / Oxygenated volatile organic chemicals in the oceans : Inferences and implications based on atmospheric observations and air-sea exchange models. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2003 ; Vol. 30, No. 16. pp. 13-11.
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abstract = "Airborne measurements of oxygenated volatile organic chemicals (OVOC), OH free radicals, and tracers of pollution were performed over the Pacific during Winter/Spring of 2001. We interpret atmospheric observations of acetaldehyde, propanal, methanol, and acetone with the help of a global 3-D model and an air-sea exchange model to assess their oceanic budgets. We infer that surface waters of the Pacific are greatly supersaturated with acetaldehyde and propanal. Bulk surface seawater concentration of 7 nM (10-9 mol L-1) and 2 nM and net fluxes of 1.1 × 10-12 g cm-2 s-1 and 0.4 × 10-12 g cm s-1 are calculated for acetaldehyde and propanal, respectively. Large surface seawater concentrations are also estimated for methanol (100 nM) and acetone (10 nM) corresponding to an undersaturation of 6{\%} and 14{\%}, and a deposition velocity of 0.08 cm s-1 and 0.10 cm s-1, respectively. These data imply a large oceanic source for acetaldehyde and propanal, and a modest sink for methanol and acetone. Assuming a 50- 100 meter mixed layer, an extremely large oceanic reservoir of OVOC, exceeding the atmospheric reservoir by an order of magnitude, can be inferred to be present. Available seawater data are both preliminary and extremely limited but indicate rather low bulk OVOC concentrations and provide no support for the existence of a large oceanic reservoir. We speculate on the causes and implications of these findings.",
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Sing, HB, Tabazadeh, A, Evans, MJ, Field, BD, Jacob, DJ, Sachse, G, Crawford, JH, Shetter, R & Brune, WH 2003, 'Oxygenated volatile organic chemicals in the oceans: Inferences and implications based on atmospheric observations and air-sea exchange models', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 30, no. 16, pp. 13-11.

Oxygenated volatile organic chemicals in the oceans : Inferences and implications based on atmospheric observations and air-sea exchange models. / Sing, H. B.; Tabazadeh, A.; Evans, M. J.; Field, B. D.; Jacob, D. J.; Sachse, G.; Crawford, J. H.; Shetter, R.; Brune, William Henry.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 30, No. 16, 15.08.2003, p. 13-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Oxygenated volatile organic chemicals in the oceans

T2 - Inferences and implications based on atmospheric observations and air-sea exchange models

AU - Sing, H. B.

AU - Tabazadeh, A.

AU - Evans, M. J.

AU - Field, B. D.

AU - Jacob, D. J.

AU - Sachse, G.

AU - Crawford, J. H.

AU - Shetter, R.

AU - Brune, William Henry

PY - 2003/8/15

Y1 - 2003/8/15

N2 - Airborne measurements of oxygenated volatile organic chemicals (OVOC), OH free radicals, and tracers of pollution were performed over the Pacific during Winter/Spring of 2001. We interpret atmospheric observations of acetaldehyde, propanal, methanol, and acetone with the help of a global 3-D model and an air-sea exchange model to assess their oceanic budgets. We infer that surface waters of the Pacific are greatly supersaturated with acetaldehyde and propanal. Bulk surface seawater concentration of 7 nM (10-9 mol L-1) and 2 nM and net fluxes of 1.1 × 10-12 g cm-2 s-1 and 0.4 × 10-12 g cm s-1 are calculated for acetaldehyde and propanal, respectively. Large surface seawater concentrations are also estimated for methanol (100 nM) and acetone (10 nM) corresponding to an undersaturation of 6% and 14%, and a deposition velocity of 0.08 cm s-1 and 0.10 cm s-1, respectively. These data imply a large oceanic source for acetaldehyde and propanal, and a modest sink for methanol and acetone. Assuming a 50- 100 meter mixed layer, an extremely large oceanic reservoir of OVOC, exceeding the atmospheric reservoir by an order of magnitude, can be inferred to be present. Available seawater data are both preliminary and extremely limited but indicate rather low bulk OVOC concentrations and provide no support for the existence of a large oceanic reservoir. We speculate on the causes and implications of these findings.

AB - Airborne measurements of oxygenated volatile organic chemicals (OVOC), OH free radicals, and tracers of pollution were performed over the Pacific during Winter/Spring of 2001. We interpret atmospheric observations of acetaldehyde, propanal, methanol, and acetone with the help of a global 3-D model and an air-sea exchange model to assess their oceanic budgets. We infer that surface waters of the Pacific are greatly supersaturated with acetaldehyde and propanal. Bulk surface seawater concentration of 7 nM (10-9 mol L-1) and 2 nM and net fluxes of 1.1 × 10-12 g cm-2 s-1 and 0.4 × 10-12 g cm s-1 are calculated for acetaldehyde and propanal, respectively. Large surface seawater concentrations are also estimated for methanol (100 nM) and acetone (10 nM) corresponding to an undersaturation of 6% and 14%, and a deposition velocity of 0.08 cm s-1 and 0.10 cm s-1, respectively. These data imply a large oceanic source for acetaldehyde and propanal, and a modest sink for methanol and acetone. Assuming a 50- 100 meter mixed layer, an extremely large oceanic reservoir of OVOC, exceeding the atmospheric reservoir by an order of magnitude, can be inferred to be present. Available seawater data are both preliminary and extremely limited but indicate rather low bulk OVOC concentrations and provide no support for the existence of a large oceanic reservoir. We speculate on the causes and implications of these findings.

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