Sulfate production by reactive bromine: Implications for the global sulfur and reactive bromine budgets

Q. Chen, J. A. Schmidt, V. Shah, L. Jaeglé, T. Sherwen, B. Alexander

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfur and reactive bromine (Bry) play important roles in tropospheric chemistry and the global radiation budget. The oxidation of dissolved SO2 (S(IV)) by HOBr increases sulfate aerosol abundance and may also impact the Bry budget, but is generally not included in global climate and chemistry models. In this study, we implement HOBr + S(IV) reactions into the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model and evaluate the global impacts on both sulfur and Bry budgets. Modeled HOBr mixing ratios on the order of 0.1–1.0 parts per trillion (ppt) lead to HOBr + S(IV) contributing to 8% of global sulfate production and up to 45% over some tropical ocean regions with high HOBr mixing ratios (0.6–0.9 ppt). Inclusion of HOBr + S(IV) in the model leads to a global Bry decrease of 50%, initiated by the decrease in bromide recycling in cloud droplets. Observations of HOBr are necessary to better understand the role of HOBr + S(IV) in tropospheric sulfur and Bry cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7069-7078
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • reactive bromine
  • sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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