Effects of Declining Arctic Sea Ice on Biogenic Sulfate Aerosols
Sharma, S., Chan, E., Ishizawa, M., Toom-Sauntry, D., Gong, S.L., Li, S.M., Tarasick, D.W., Leaitch, W.R., Norman, A., Quinn, P.K., Bates, T.S., Levasseur, M., Barrie, L.A. and Maenhaut, W. 2012. Influence of transport and ocean ice extent on biogenic aerosol sulfur in the Arctic atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research 117: 10.1029/2011JD017074.
In further exploration of this subject, Sharma et al. used "29 years of atmospheric MSA measurements at Alert [Nunavut, Canada], 11 years at Barrow (Alaska, USA) and 14 years at Ny-Alesund (Svalbard, Norway) to document changes in MSA concentrations and look for "connections of MSA to sea ice extent, atmospheric transport patterns, and changes in source regions," which they did "for the spring and summer periods, when phytoplankton productivity in the source regions and MSA concentrations at the measurement sites are the highest."
According to the fourteen researchers, results indicated that "since 2000, a late spring increase in atmospheric MSA at the three sites coincides with the northward migration of the marginal ice edge zone where high DMS emissions from ocean to atmosphere have previously been reported." And they write that "these results suggest that a decrease in seasonal ice cover influencing other mechanisms of DMS production could lead to higher atmospheric MSA concentrations," which indeed appears to be what is happening as Arctic ice cover declines.
If the CLAW hypothesis of Charlson et al. (1987) is indeed correct, this self-regulating aspect of Earth's climate system may well be helping to reduce the rate at which global warming had been proceeding prior to the advent of the 21st century and the enhanced northward migration of the Arctic Ocean's marginal ice edge zone.
Charlson, R.J., Lovelock, J.E., Andrea, M.O. and Warren, S.G. 1987. Oceanic phytoplankton, atmospheric sulfur, cloud albedo and climate. Nature 326: 655-661.
Kulmala, M., Riipinen, I., Sipila, M., Manninen, H.E., Petaja, T., Junninen, H., Maso, M.D., Mordas, G., Mirme, A., Vana, M., Hirsikko, A., Laakso, L., Harrison, R.M., Hanson, I., Leung, C., Lehtinen, K.E.J. and Kerminen, V.-M. 2007. Toward direct measurement of atmospheric nucleation. Science 318: 89-92.
Petters, M.D. and Kreidenweis, S.M. 2007. A single parameter representation of hygroscopic growth and cloud condensation nucleus activity. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 7: 1961-1971.