Bromide in Snow in the Sea Ice Zone
A range of chemical and microphysical pathways in polar latitudes, including spring time (tropospheric) ozone depletion, oxidative pathways for mercury, and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production leading to changes in the cloud cover and attendant surface energy budgets, have been invoked as being dependent upon the emission of halogen gases formed in sea-ice.
The prospects for climate warming induced reductions in sea ice extent causing alteration of these incompletely known surface-atmospheric feedbacks and interactions requires confirmation of mechanistic details in both laboratory studies and field campaigns. One such mechanistic question is how bromine (BrO and Br) enriched snow migrates or is formed through processes in sea-ice, prior to its subsequent mobilization as an aerosol fraction into the atmosphere by strong winds. Once aloft, it may react with ozone and other atmospheric species. Dartmouth researchers will collect snow from the surface of sea ice, from freely blowing snow and in sea-ice cores from Cape Byrd, Ross Sea. A range of spectroscopic, microanalytic and and microstructural approaches will be subsequently used to determine the Br distribution gradients through sea-ice, in order to shed light on how sea-ice first forms and then releases bromine species into the polar atmospheric boundary layer.
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