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Title: Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer

Atmospheric iron affects the global carbon cycle by modulating ocean biogeochemistry through the deposition of soluble iron to the ocean. Iron emitted by anthropogenic (fossil fuel) combustion is a source of soluble iron that is currently considered less important than other soluble iron sources, such as mineral dust and biomass burning. Here we show that the atmospheric burden of anthropogenic combustion iron is 8 times greater than previous estimates by incorporating recent measurements of anthropogenic magnetite into a global aerosol model. This new estimation increases the total deposition flux of soluble iron to southern oceans (30–90 °S) by 52%, with a larger contribution of anthropogenic combustion iron than dust and biomass burning sources. The direct radiative forcing of anthropogenic magnetite is estimated to be 0.021 W m –2 globally and 0.22 W m –2 over East Asia. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that anthropogenic combustion iron is a larger and more complex climate forcer than previously thought, and therefore plays a key role in the Earth system.
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Nagoya Univ., Nagoya (Japan); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
  2. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
  3. Univ. of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Atmospheric chemistry; Atmospheric science; Climate and Earth system modelling; Climate change; Climate sciences
OSTI Identifier: