[Coral-List] BPs fall out from the sky!

James Cervino PhD. jcervino at whoi.edu
Sat Mar 19 22:56:10 EDT 2011

A very good paper published in Science by Degouw et al., 2011. It seems that a
HUGH amount of VOCs that evaporated from the BP oil spill were converted in
organic aerosols. It never "disappeared"!!  I think we can scientifically say
"sky is literally falling" James

Organic Aerosol Formation Downwind from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

J. A. de Gouw1,2,*, A. M. Middlebrook1, C. Warneke1,2, R. Ahmadov1,2, E. L.
Atlas3, R. Bahreini1,2, D. R. Blake4, C. A. Brock1, J. Brioude1,2, D. W.
Fahey1, F. C. Fehsenfeld1,2, J. S. Holloway1,2, M. Le Henaff3, R. A. Lueb5, S.
A. McKeen1,2, J. F. Meagher1, D. M. Murphy1, C. Paris3, D. D. Parrish1, A.. E.
Perring1,2, I. B. Pollack1,2, A. R. Ravishankara1, A. L. Robinson6, T. B.
Ryerson1, J. P. Schwarz1,2, J. R. Spackman1,2, A. Srinivasan3, and L. A.


A large fraction of atmospheric aerosols are derived from organic compounds with
various volatilities. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
WP-3D research aircraft made airborne measurements of the gaseous and aerosol
composition of air over the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico that occurred from April to August 2010. A narrow plume of hydrocarbons
was observed downwind of DWH that is attributed to the evaporation of fresh oil
on the sea surface. A much wider plume with high concentrations of organic
aerosol (>25 micrograms per cubic meter) was attributed to the formation of
secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from unmeasured, less volatile hydrocarbons
that were emitted from a wider area around DWH. These observations provide
direct and compelling evidence for the importance of formation of SOA from less
volatile hydrocarbons.

Dr. James M. Cervino
Visiting Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Contact Information:
NYC Address: 9-22 119st
College Point New York, 11356
Cell: 917-620*5287

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