The Aerosol Odyssey: Navigating nutrient flux changes to marine ecosystems

Douglas S. Hamilton (Lead Author), Alex R. Baker, Yoko Iwamoto, Santiago Gassó, Elisa Bergas-Masso, Sarah Deutch, Julie Dinasquet, Yoshiko Kondo, Joan Llort, Stelios Myriokefalitakis, Morgane M. G. Perron, Alex Wegmann, Joo-Eun Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This perspective piece on aerosol deposition to marine ecosystems and the related impacts on biogeochemical cycles forms part of a larger Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study status-of-the-science special edition. A large body of recent reviews has comprehensively covered different aspects of this topic. Here, we aim to take a fresh approach by reviewing recent research to identify potential foundations for future study. We have purposefully chosen to discuss aerosol nutrient and pollutant fluxes both in terms of the journey that different aerosol particles take and that of the surrounding scientific field exploring them. To do so, we explore some of the major tools, knowledge, and partnerships we believe are required to aid advancing this highly interdisciplinary field of research. We recognize that significant gaps persist in our understanding of how far aerosol deposition modulates marine biogeochemical cycles and thus climate. This uncertainty increases as socioeconomic pressures, climate change, and technological advancements continue to change how we live and interact with the marine environment. Despite this, recent advances in modeling techniques, satellite remote sensing, and field observations have provided valuable insights into the spatial and temporal variability of aerosol deposition across the world’s ocean. With the UN Ocean Decade and sustainable development goals in sight, it becomes essential that the community prioritizes the use of a wide variety of tools, knowledge, and partnerships to advance understanding. It is through a collaborative and sustained effort that we hope the community can address the gaps in our understanding of the complex interactions between aerosol particles, marine ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number00037
JournalElementa: Science of the Anthropocene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023


  • Aerosol nutrients
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Iron cycle
  • Ocean health

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