A second microlayer sampling station was conducted on July 23rd near Resolute. The sea surface microlayer is an important biogeochemical system whose contribution to the production of climate-active gases and role in atmospheric processes and cloud microphysics is still poorly understood. Our comprehension is especially deficient in the remote Arctic, a highly heterogeneous bio-physical environment undergoing dramatic seasonal increases in ice-free waters. As part of Netcare’s Theme 2, several questions, linked to this potential new microlayer surface, need to be addressed: 1) Is the surface microlayer (SML) an enriched source of the climate-active gas dimethylsulfide (DMS) and ice nucleating agents/microorganisms? 2) What are the inherent properties and roles of the SML for ice nucleation (IN) and DMS emissions?
In order to address these questions, an array of measurements are being conducted including: surfactants, transparent exopolymers, total organic carbon, ice nucleation activity, cloud condensation nuclei, cell counts, and reservoirs of sulfur compounds (DMS-DMSP).
-Martine Lizotte, NETCARE Research Associate