Marine Aerosols and Clouds. Chapter uri icon


  • The role of marine bioaerosols in cloud formation and climate is currently so uncertain that even the sign of the climate forcing is unclear. Marine aerosols form through direct emissions and through the conversion of gas-phase emissions to aerosols in the atmosphere. The composition and size of aerosols determine how effective they are in catalyzing the formation of water droplets and ice crystals in clouds by acting as cloud condensation nuclei and ice nucleating particles, respectively. Marine organic aerosols may be sourced both from recent regional phytoplankton blooms that add labile organic matter to the surface ocean and from long-term global processes, such as the upwelling of old refractory dissolved organic matter from the deep ocean. Understanding the formation of marine aerosols and their propensity to catalyze cloud formation processes are challenges that must be addressed given the major uncertainties associated with aerosols in climate models.

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Brooks, S. D., & Thornton, D

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • Brooks, Sarah D||Thornton, Daniel CO

Book Title


publication date

  • January 2018