Isoprene and monoterpenes are important precursors of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in continents. However, their contributions to aerosols over oceans are still inconclusive. Here we analyzed SOA tracers from isoprene and monoterpenes in aerosol samples collected over oceans during the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Research Expeditions. Combined with literature reports elsewhere, we found that the dominant tracers are the oxidation products of isoprene. The concentrations of tracers varied considerably. The mean average values were approximately one order of magnitude higher in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. High values were generally observed in coastal regions. This phenomenon was ascribed to the outflow influence from continental sources. High levels of isoprene could emit from oceans and consequently have a significant impact on marine SOA as inferred from isoprene SOA during phytoplankton blooms, which may abruptly increase up to 95 ng/m3 in the boundary layer over remote oceans.
Hu, Q., Xie, Z., Wang, X., Kang, H., He, Q. & Zhang, P. (2013). Secondary organic aerosols over oceans via oxidation of isoprene and monoterpenes from Arctic to Antarctic. Scientific Reports, 3, 2280. doi:10.1038/srep02280.