Acidic Sea Spray

Breaking wave action creates a spray of aerosol particles that directly connect our ocean and atmosphere.

As waves crash and break, they generate a spray of droplets — known as aerosols — that make their way into the atmosphere. Researchers investigated the chemistry of these aerosol droplets by generating spray in a wave tank filled with ocean water. They found that aerosol droplets are far more acidic than the ocean they come from, and the smaller the droplet, the more acidic it is. This acidification happens in a matter of minutes, as acidic gases interact with the spray. Their findings will be critical for accurately modeling the climate connections between our oceans and atmosphere. (Image credit: Elle; research credit: K. Angle et al.; via OceanBites; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)

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