Changing atmospheric acidity as a modulator of nutrient deposition and ocean biogeochemistry

Alex Baker (Lead Author), Maria Kanakidou, Athanasios Nenes, Stelios Myriokefalitakis, Peter L. Croot, Robert A. Duce, Yuan Gao, Cécile Guieu, Akinori Ito, Tim Jickells, Natalie M. Mahowald, Rob Middag, Morgane M. G. Perron, Manmohan M. Sarin, Rachel Shelley, David R. Turner

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Abstract

Anthropogenic emissions to the atmosphere have increased the flux of nutrients, especially nitrogen, to the ocean, but they have also altered the acidity of aerosol, cloud water, and precipitation over much of the marine atmosphere. For nitrogen, acidity-driven changes in chemical speciation result in altered partitioning between the gas and particulate phases that subsequently affect long-range transport. Other important nutrients, notably iron and phosphorus, are affected, because their soluble fractions increase upon exposure to acidic environments during atmospheric transport. These changes affect the magnitude, distribution, and deposition mode of individual nutrients supplied to the ocean, the extent to which nutrient deposition interacts with the sea surface microlayer during its passage into bulk seawater, and the relative abundances of soluble nutrients in atmospheric deposition. Atmospheric acidity change therefore affects ecosystem composition, in addition to overall marine productivity, and these effects will continue to evolve with changing anthropogenic emissions in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabd8800
JournalScience Advances
Volume7
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2021

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