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Decreased marine dimethyl sulfide production under elevated CO <inf>2</inf> levels in mesocosm and in vitro studies

Avgoustidi, V and Nightingale, PD and Joint, I and Steinke, M and Turner, SM and Hopkins, FE and Liss, PS (2012) 'Decreased marine dimethyl sulfide production under elevated CO <inf>2</inf> levels in mesocosm and in vitro studies.' Environmental Chemistry, 9 (4). 399 - 404. ISSN 1448-2517

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The oceans have absorbed approximately half of the CO 2 produced by human activities and it is inevitable that surface seawaters will become increasingly acidified. The effect of lower pH on marine organisms and oceanatmosphere exchanges is largely unknown but organisms with CaCO 3 structural components are likely to be particularly affected. Because calcifying phytoplankton are significant producers of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), it is vital to understand how lower seawater pH may affect DMS production and emission to the atmosphere. Here we show, by mesocosm (Raunefjorden, Norway, April-May 2003) and in vitro studies, that the net production of DMS and its cellular precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is approximately halved in microbial communities subjected to doubled CO 2 levels. Our findings provide evidence that the amount of DMS entering the atmosphere could decrease in the future. Because atmospheric oxidation of DMS can lead to climate cooling by increasing cloud albedo, a consequence of reduced DMS emissions from a lower pH ocean would be an enhancement in global warming. © 2012 CSIRO.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Michael Steinke
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2013 16:54
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2021 10:15

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