General Information

Top of Page

Ernie R. Lewis

Atmospheric Scientist

Ernie Lewis is the lead investigator of MAGIC, the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds.  MAGIC involves deployment of the Second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2) on the Horizon Lines cargo ship Spirit traversing a route between Los Angeles, CA and Honolulu, HI to measure properties of clouds and precipitation, aerosols, radiation, and meteorological conditions in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. MAGIC commenced making measurements in October, 2012 and will continue until September, 2013. He is also the chair of ACCESS, the Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists, which is held in conjunction with the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) in Atmospheric Chemistry. Lewis previous worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a chemical oceanographer and participated in ten oceangoing cruises on which he measured properties of the CO2 system in seawater. Together with D. W. R. Wallace he wrote CO2SYS, which has become the standard program in the oceanographic community for intercalculation of oceanic carbon system parameters. After moving to the Environmental & Climate Sciences Department, his scientific work has focused on understanding properties of aerosols, including sources of natural aerosol production, aerosol dynamics, and the optical and thermodynamic properties of aerosol particles and their dependence on relative humidity. Together with Stephen E. Schwartz, he authored the book Sea Salt Aerosol Production: Mechanisms, Methods, Measurements, and Models—A Critical Review, published by the American Geophysical Union in 2004. His recent research has involved hygroscopic properties of aerosols, the size dependence of deliquescence and efflorescence of nanoparticles, diffusion of nanoparticles, direct aerosol forcing of climate, modeling the importance of different nucleation mechanisms to aerosol concentrations, and the structure of black carbon-containing aerosol particles.


  • California Institute of Technology, B. S. (Honors), Physics
  • von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Brussels, Belgium, Diploma
  • The University of Texas at Austin, A. B. D., Theoretical Physics


  • American Geophysical Union

Areas of Interest

  • Marine measurements of cloud, aerosol, and radiation properties
  • Biomass burning aerosols and the time evolution of their hygroscopic and optical properties
  • Effect of particle size on hygroscopic behavior and on deliquescence and efflorescence
  • The effects of relative humidity on aerosol chemical, physical, and optical properties
  • Phase transitions of aerosol particles; deliquescence and efflorescence
  • Light scattering and radiative transport in the atmosphere
  • Air-sea exchange of gases and particles
  • Physical and chemical properties of electrolyte solutions and their parameterization
  • Sea salt and sea spray aerosols and their properties, concentrations, and production
  • Sources of natural aerosol production
  • Aerosol dynamics and processes in the atmosphere
  • Cloud formation and cloud droplet activation
  • Climate and climate change, and the effect of aerosols on climate change
  • The carbon dioxide system in the oceans
  • Measurement of chemical and physical properties of seawater


  • 1998-present: Environmental & Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • 1993-1998: Department of Oceanography, Brookhaven National Laboratory


Meskhidze, N., Petters, M. D., Tsigaridis, K., Bates, T., O'Dowd, C., Reid, J., Lewis, E. R., Gantt, B., Anguelova, M. D., Bhave, P. V., Bird, J., Callaghan, A. H., Ceburnis, D., Chang, R., Clarke, A., de Leeuw, G., Deane, G., DeMott, P. J., Elliot, S., Facchini, M. C., Fairall, C. W., Hawkins, L., Hu, Y., Hudson, J. G., Johnson, M. S., Kaku, K. C., Keene, W. C., Kieber, D. J., Long, M. S., Mårtensson, M., Modini, R. L., Osburn, C. L., Prather, K. A., Pszenny, A., Rinaldi, M., Russell, L. M., Salter, M., Sayer, A. M., Smirnov, A., Suda, S. R., Toth, T. D., Worsnop, D. R., Wozniak, A., and Zorn, S. R. Production mechanisms, number concentration, size distribution, chemical composition, and optical properties of sea spray aerosols. Atmos. Sci. Lettrs, online, doi:10.1002/asl2.441 (2013).

Sedlacek, A. J., III, E. R. Lewis, L. Kleinman, J. Xu, & Q. Zhang, “Determination of and evidence for non-core-shell structure of particles containing black carbon using the single particle soot photometer (SP2),” Geophys. Res. Letts., 2012. doi:10.1029/2012GL050905.

Kleinman, L. I., P. H. Daum, Y.-N. Lee, E. R. Lewis, A. J. Sedlacek III, G. I. Senum, S. R. Springston, J. Wang, J. Hubbe, J. Jayne, Q. Min, S. S. Yum, & G. Allen, “Aerosol concentration and size distribution measured below, in, and above cloud from the DOE G-1 during VOCALS-Rex”, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 207-223, 2012. doi:10.5194/acp-12-207-2012.

de Leeuw, G., E. L Andreas, M. D. Anguelova, C. W. Fairall, E. R. Lewis, C. O'Dowd, M. Schulz, & S. E. Schwartz, “Production flux of sea-spray aerosol,” Rev. Geophys., 49, RG2001, 2011. doi:10.1029/2010RG000349.

Bruzewicz, D. A., A. Checco, B. M. Ocko, E. R. Lewis, R. McGraw, & S. E. Schwartz, “Reversible uptake of water on NaCl nanoparticles at relative humidity below deliquescence point observed by non-contact environmental AFM,” J. Chem. Phys., 134: 044702, 2011. doi. 10.1063/1.3524195.

Wang, Z., S. M. King, E. Freney, T. Rosenoern, M. Smith, Q. Chen, M. Kuwata, E. R. Lewis, U. Pöschl, W. Wang, P. R. Buseck, & S. T. Martin, The dynamic shape factor of sodium chloride nanoparticles as regulated by drying rate, Aerosol Sci. Tech., 44:939-953, 2010.  doi:10.1080/02786826.2010.503204

Lewis, E. R., “Comment on ‘Measurements of the temperature dependent diffusion coefficient of nanoparticles in the range of 295-600 K at atmospheric pressure’ by V. Y. Rudyak, S. N. Dubtsov, & A. M. Baklanov,” J. Aerosol Sci., 41(4), 418-425, 2010. doi:10.1016/j.jaerosci.2010.02.001

McGraw, R. & E. R. Lewis, “Deliquescence and efflorescence of small particles,” J. Chem. Phys., 131: 194705, 2009. doi:10.1063/1.3251056

Chang, L.-S., S. E. Schwartz, R. McGraw, & E. R. Lewis, "Sensitivity of aerosol properties to new particle formation mechanism and to primary emissions in a continental-scale chemical transport model," J. Geophys. Res. – Atm., 114: D07203, 2009. doi:10.1029/2008JD011019

Bauer, S. E., D. Wright, D. Koch, E. R. Lewis, R. McGraw, L.-S. Chang, S. E. Schwartz, & R. Ruedy, “MATRIX (Multiconfiguration Aerosol TRacker of mIXing state): An aerosol microphysical module for global atmospheric models,” Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8: 6003-6035, 2008.

McComiskey, A., S. E. Schwartz, B. Schmid, H. Guan, E. R. Lewis, P. Ricchiazzi, & J. A. Ogren, "Direct aerosol forcing: Calculation from observables and sensitivities to inputs," J. Geophys. Res. – Atm., 113, D09202, 2008. doi:10.1029/2007JD009170

Lewis, E. R., "An examination of Köhler theory resulting in an accurate expression for the equilibrium radius ratio of a hygroscopic aerosol particle valid up to and including relative humidity 100%," J. Geophys. Res. – Atm., 113, D03205, 2008. doi:10.1029/2007JD008590

Lewis, E. R., "The effect of surface tension (Kelvin effect) on the equilibrium radius of a hygroscopic aqueous aerosol particle," J. Aerosol Sci., 37(11): 1605-1617, 2006. doi:10.1016/j.jaerosci.2006.04.001

Lewis, E. R. & S. E. Schwartz, "Comment on ‘Size distribution of sea-salt emissions as a function of relative humidity’," Atmos. Environ., 40(3): 588-590, 2006. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2005.08.043.

Lewis, E. R. & S. E. Schwartz, Sea Salt Aerosol Production: Mechanisms, Methods, Measurements, and Models, Geophysical Monograph Series v. 152, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, 2004. 413 pp. Available for purchase at the American Geophysical Union Bookstore.

Johnson, K. M., A. G. Dickson, G. Eischeid, C. Goyet, P. R. Guenther, R. M. Key, K. Lee, E. R. Lewis, F. J. Millero, D. Purkerson, C. L. Sabine, R. G. Schottle, D. W. R. Wallace, & R. J. Wilke, & C.D. Winn, "Carbon dioxide, hydrographic, and chemical data obtained during the Nine RV Knorr cruises comprising the Indian Ocean CO2 Survey (WOCE Sections I8SI9S, I9N I8NI5E, I3, I5WI4, I7N, I1, I10 and I2 (December 1, 1994-January 15, 1996)," Carbon Dioxide Information and Analysis Center Numeric Data Package (NDP-080), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U. S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 2002.

Wanninkhof, R., E. Lewis, R. A. Feely, & F. J. Millero, "The optimal carbonate dissociation constants for determining surface water pCO2 from alkalinity and total inorganic carbon," Mar. Chem., 65: 291-301, 1999.

Millero, F. J., A. G. Dickson, G. Eischeid, C. Goyet, P. R. Guenther, K. M. Johnson, K. Lee, E. Lewis, D. Purkerson, C. L. Sabine, R. Key, R. G. Schottle, D. R. W. Wallace, & C. D. Winn, "Assessment of the quality of the shipboard measurements of total alkalinity on the WOCE Hydrographic Program Indian Ocean CO2 survey cruises 1994-1996,"  Mar. Chem., 63: 9-20, 1998.

Lewis, E. & D. W. R. Wallace, "Program developed for CO2 system calculations," ORNL/CDIAC-105, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U. S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1998. Available at as a QBasic, Excel, or MATLAB program, or a program that can be run on Windows, Mac OS X, or iOS (i.e., as an app).

Neill, C, K. M. Johnson, E. Lewis, & D. W. R. Wallace, "Accurate headspace analysis of fCO2 in discrete water samples using batch equilibration,” Limn. Oceanog., 42(8): 1774-1783, 1997.

Lewis, E. R. & E. L. Koschmieder, "Convection in a rotating, laterally heated annulus. Transition to lower symmetry," Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid Dyn., 42(1-2): 37-47, 1988.

Koschmieder, E. L. & E. R. Lewis, "Hadley circulations on a nonuniformly heated rotating plate," J. Atmos. Sci., 43(21): 2514-2526, 1986.