Jump to content
Scientific journal publication

Contribution of fluorescent primary biological aerosol particles to low-level Arctic cloud residuals

Pereira Freitas, Gabriel; Kopec, Ben; Adachi, Kouji; Krejci, Radovan; Heslin-Rees, Dominic; Yttri, Karl Espen; Hubbard, Alun Lloyd; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Zieger, Paul

Publication details

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP), vol. 24, 5479–5494, 2024

Arkiv: hdl.handle.net/10037/33599
Doi: doi.org/10.5194/acp-24-5479-2024

Mixed-phase clouds (MPCs) are key players in the Arctic climate system due to their role in modulating solar and terrestrial radiation. Such radiative interactions rely, among other factors, on the ice content of MPCs, which is regulated by the availability of ice-nucleating particles (INPs). While it appears that INPs are associated with the presence of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) in the Arctic, the nuances of the processes and patterns of INPs and their association with clouds and moisture sources have not been resolved. Here, we investigated for a full year the abundance of and variability in fluorescent PBAPs (fPBAPs) within cloud residuals, directly sampled by a multiparameter bioaerosol spectrometer coupled to a ground-based counterflow virtual impactor inlet at the Zeppelin Observatory (475 m a.s.l.) in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. fPBAP concentrations (10−3–10−2 L−1) and contributions to coarse-mode cloud residuals (0.1 to 1 in every 103 particles) were found to be close to those expected for high-temperature INPs. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of PBAPs, most likely bacteria, within one cloud residual sample. Seasonally, our results reveal an elevated presence of fPBAPs within cloud residuals in summer. Parallel water vapor isotope measurements point towards a link between summer clouds and regionally sourced air masses. Low-level MPCs were predominantly observed at the beginning and end of summer, and one explanation for their presence is the existence of high-temperature INPs. In this study, we present direct observational evidence that fPBAPs may play an important role in determining the phase of low-level Arctic clouds. These findings have potential implications for the future description of sources of ice nuclei given ongoing changes in the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles that will influence the PBAP flux in and towards the Arctic