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Decreased marine dimethyl sulfide production under elevated CO2 levels in mesocosm and in vitro studies

Avgoustidi, Valia and Nightingale, Philip D and Joint, Ian and Steinke, Michael and Turner, Suzanne M and Hopkins, Frances E and Liss, Peter S (2012) 'Decreased marine dimethyl sulfide production under elevated CO2 levels in mesocosm and in vitro studies.' Environmental Chemistry, 9 (4). p. 399. ISSN 1448-2517

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<jats:p> Environmental contextAs atmospheric CO2 levels rise due to human activities, more of the gas dissolves in the oceans, increasing their acidity. The effect of these seawater changes on marine organisms is largely unknown. We examine the consequences of higher CO2 levels on the production by plankton of dimethyl sulfide, a climatically active gas. We find that higher CO2 levels leads to lower concentrations of dimethyl sulfide in the seawater, which has potentially important implications for the future climate. AbstractThe oceans have absorbed approximately half of the CO2 produced by human activities and it is inevitable that surface seawaters will become increasingly acidified. The effect of lower pH on marine organisms and ocean–atmosphere exchanges is largely unknown but organisms with CaCO3 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 CO2 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. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2013 16:54
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:19

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