Biological oceanography: Sulphur, climate and the microbial maze

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It might seem strange that marine algae and climate are linked, but there is a connection and it occurs through the production of a compound which breaks down to release volatile dimethyl sulphide — DMS, (CH3)2S — and acrylic acid. Formation of the volatile trace gas has implications that go far beyond the level of an individual cell or microbial population, because DMS is a key compound in the global sulphur cycle and its oxidation products influence atmospheric acidity, as well as cloud formation and the Earth's temperature1. The compound in question is dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP), which algae synthesize to help maintain their osmotic balance with sea water.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-859
Number of pages3
Issue number6636
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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