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World Wise Words Group

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Grayson Brown
Grayson Brown

Ocean Waves Breaking And Marine Aerosol Fluxes

Sea spray are aerosol particles formed from the ocean, mostly by ejection into Earth's atmosphere by bursting bubbles at the air-sea interface.[1] Sea spray contains both organic matter and inorganic salts that form sea salt aerosol (SSA).[2] SSA has the ability to form cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and remove anthropogenic aerosol pollutants from the atmosphere.[3] Coarse sea spray has also been found to inhibit the development of lightning in storm clouds.[4]

Ocean Waves Breaking and Marine Aerosol Fluxes

Sea spray is directly (and indirectly, through SSA) responsible for a significant degree of the heat and moisture fluxes between the atmosphere and the ocean,[5][6] affecting global climate patterns and tropical storm intensity.[7] Sea spray also influences plant growth and species distribution in coastal ecosystems[8] and increases corrosion of building materials in coastal areas.[9]

When wind, whitecaps, and breaking waves mix air into the sea surface, the air regroups to form bubbles, floats to the surface, and bursts at the air-sea interface.[10] When they burst, they release up to a thousand particles of sea spray,[10][11] which range in size from nanometers to micrometers and can be expelled up to 20 cm from the sea surface.[10] Film droplets make up the majority of the smaller particles created by the initial burst, while jet droplets are generated by a collapse of the bubble cavity and are ejected from the sea surface in the form of a vertical jet.[12][11] In windy conditions, water droplets are mechanically torn off from crests of breaking waves. Sea spray droplets generated via such a mechanism are called spume droplets [11] and are typically larger in size and have less residence time in air. Impingement of plunging waves on sea surface also generates sea spray in the form of splash droplets [11][13]. The composition of the sea spray depends primarily on the composition of the water from which it is produced, but broadly speaking is a mixture of salts and organic matter. Several factors determine the production flux of sea spray, especially wind speed, swell height, swell period, humidity, and temperature differential between the atmosphere and the surface water.[14] Production and size distribution rate of SSAs are thus sensitive to the mixing state.[15] A lesser studied area of sea spray generation is the formation of sea spray as a result of rain drop impact on the sea surface .[11]