Use of Real-Time Detection of Airborne Biological Particles in Antarctica to Investigate Local and Long Range Dispersion Sources

Martin Gallagher, Ian Crawford, Virginia Foot, David Topping, Z. Fleming, J. Flynn, N. Brough, C. Listowski, T. Lachlan-Cope, Gosselin, W. Choularton, W.R. Stanley, P.A. Kaye,

A poorly studied area of Antarctic atmospheric science is the sources and evolution of its indigenous aerosol populations, which are critical for understanding and modeling the continent’s response to climate warming. Previous work in Antarctica has relied on low temporal resolution aerosol filter sampling to investigate aerosol chemical composition and production mechanisms. These studies have also been spatially limited and so unable to answer many important questions, particularly with regard aerosol-cloud interactions and precipitation development for this region. This is in contrast with studies in other important regions, which now generally rely on field deployable real-time aerosol analysis techniques, including aerosol mass spectrometry, to identify, quantify and monitor aerosol biogeochemical sources and sinks. Whilst the remarkable warm temperature ice nucleation spectra of bacteria have been well documented for many years, including indigenous Antarctic strains, to investigate their potential importance on atmospheric cloud glaciation processes, at the moment there is a lack of airborne bioaerosol concentration observations to improve model predictions aerosol-cloud and precipitation feedbacks in Antarctica under different warming scenarios.

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