skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer

Abstract

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.

Authors:
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:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division
OSTI Identifier:
1437039
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1594110
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; SC0006791; SC0006735
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Atmospheric chemistry; Atmospheric science; Climate and Earth system modelling; Climate change; Climate sciences

Citation Formats

Matsui, Hitoshi, Mahowald, Natalie M., Moteki, Nobuhiro, Hamilton, Douglas S., Ohata, Sho, Yoshida, Atsushi, Koike, Makoto, Scanza, Rachel A., and Flanner, Mark G. Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03997-0.
Matsui, Hitoshi, Mahowald, Natalie M., Moteki, Nobuhiro, Hamilton, Douglas S., Ohata, Sho, Yoshida, Atsushi, Koike, Makoto, Scanza, Rachel A., & Flanner, Mark G. Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer. United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03997-0.
Matsui, Hitoshi, Mahowald, Natalie M., Moteki, Nobuhiro, Hamilton, Douglas S., Ohata, Sho, Yoshida, Atsushi, Koike, Makoto, Scanza, Rachel A., and Flanner, Mark G. Mon . "Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer". United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03997-0. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1437039.
@article{osti_1437039,
title = {Anthropogenic combustion iron as a complex climate forcer},
author = {Matsui, Hitoshi and Mahowald, Natalie M. and Moteki, Nobuhiro and Hamilton, Douglas S. and Ohata, Sho and Yoshida, Atsushi and Koike, Makoto and Scanza, Rachel A. and Flanner, Mark G.},
abstractNote = {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.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-018-03997-0},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Biomass burning as a source of dissolved iron to the open ocean?: DISSOLVED IRON FROM BIOMASS BURNING
journal, October 2005

  • Guieu, Cécile; Bonnet, Sophie; Wagener, Thibaut
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL022962

Air pollution–aerosol interactions produce more bioavailable iron for ocean ecosystems
journal, March 2017


A New Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Boundary Dataset for the Community Atmosphere Model
journal, October 2008

  • Hurrell, James W.; Hack, James J.; Shea, Dennis
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2292.1

Toward a minimal representation of aerosols in climate models: description and evaluation in the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5
journal, January 2012

  • Liu, X.; Easter, R. C.; Ghan, S. J.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 5, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-5-709-2012

Impact of Mexico City emissions on regional air quality from MOZART-4 simulations
journal, January 2010

  • Emmons, L. K.; Apel, E. C.; Lamarque, J. -F.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 10, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-10-6195-2010

Radiative forcing of the direct aerosol effect from AeroCom Phase II simulations
journal, January 2013

  • Myhre, G.; Samset, B. H.; Schulz, M.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 13, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-1853-2013

Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: A scientific assessment: BLACK CARBON IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM
journal, June 2013

  • Bond, T. C.; Doherty, S. J.; Fahey, D. W.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 118, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50171

Refractive Index and Absorption Attribution of Highly Absorbing Brown Carbon Aerosols from an Urban Indian City-Kanpur
journal, November 2016

  • Shamjad, P. M.; Tripathi, S. N.; Thamban, Navaneeth M.
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep37735

Dissolution of atmospheric iron in seawater
journal, January 2004


Mineral particle size as a control on aerosol iron solubility
journal, January 2006

  • Baker, A. R.; Jickells, T. D.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GL026557

Cluster activation theory as an explanation of the linear dependence between formation rate of 3nm particles and sulphuric acid concentration
journal, January 2006

  • Kulmala, M.; Lehtinen, K. E. J.; Laaksonen, A.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 6, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-6-787-2006

One year of particle size distribution and aerosol chemical composition measurements at the Zeppelin Station, Svalbard, March 2000–March 2001
journal, January 2003

  • Ström, J.; Umegård, J.; Tørseth, K.
  • Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, Vol. 28, Issue 28-32
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2003.08.058

Effects of wet deposition on the abundance and size distribution of black carbon in East Asia: Black Carbon in East Asia
journal, May 2016

  • Kondo, Y.; Moteki, N.; Oshima, N.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 121, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015JD024479

Impact of an improved longwave radiation model, RRTM, on the energy budget and thermodynamic properties of the NCAR community climate model, CCM3
journal, June 2000

  • Iacono, Michael J.; Mlawer, Eli J.; Clough, Shepard A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 105, Issue D11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2000JD900091

Global simulations of ice nucleation and ice supersaturation with an improved cloud scheme in the Community Atmosphere Model
journal, January 2010

  • Gettelman, A.; Liu, X.; Ghan, S. J.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, Issue D18
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009JD013797

Understanding the 30-year Barbados desert dust record: UNDERSTANDING THE 30-YEAR BARBADOS DESERT DUST
journal, November 2002

  • Mahowald, Natalie M.; Zender, Charles S.; Luo, Chao
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 107, Issue D21
  • DOI: 10.1029/2002JD002097

Brown carbon: a significant atmospheric absorber of solar radiation?
journal, January 2013

  • Feng, Y.; Ramanathan, V.; Kotamarthi, V. R.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 13, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-8607-2013

A description of the global sulfur cycle and its controlling processes in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model, Version 3
journal, January 2000

  • Rasch, Philip J.; Barth, Mary C.; Kiehl, Jeffrey T.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 105, Issue D1
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JD900777

Mineral Dust Entrainment and Deposition (DEAD) model: Description and 1990s dust climatology
journal, January 2003


Climate response of direct radiative forcing of anthropogenic black carbon
journal, January 2005


Changes in dissolved iron deposition to the oceans driven by human activity: a 3-D global modelling study
journal, January 2015

  • Myriokefalitakis, S.; Daskalakis, N.; Mihalopoulos, N.
  • Biogeosciences, Vol. 12, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-3973-2015

Brown carbon and internal mixing in biomass burning particles
journal, August 2012

  • Lack, D. A.; Langridge, J. M.; Bahreini, R.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 109, Issue 37
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1206575109

Historical (1850–2000) gridded anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of reactive gases and aerosols: methodology and application
journal, January 2010

  • Lamarque, J. -F.; Bond, T. C.; Eyring, V.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 10, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-10-7017-2010

Modeling coagulation among particles of different composition and size
journal, April 1994


Sources, transport and deposition of iron in the global atmosphere
journal, January 2015

  • Wang, R.; Balkanski, Y.; Boucher, O.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 15, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-15-6247-2015

Improved dust representation in the Community Atmosphere Model
journal, July 2014

  • Albani, S.; Mahowald, N. M.; Perry, A. T.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 6, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013MS000279

Global Iron Connections Between Desert Dust, Ocean Biogeochemistry, and Climate
journal, April 2005


Development and validation of a black carbon mixing state resolved three-dimensional model: Aging processes and radiative impact: BC MIXING STATE RESOLVED WRF-CHEM
journal, March 2013

  • Matsui, H.; Koike, M.; Kondo, Y.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 118, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012JD018446

CAM-chem: description and evaluation of interactive atmospheric chemistry in the Community Earth System Model
journal, January 2012

  • Lamarque, J. -F.; Emmons, L. K.; Hess, P. G.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 5, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-5-369-2012

Delivery of anthropogenic bioavailable iron from mineral dust and combustion aerosols to the ocean
journal, January 2016


A mesoscale phytoplankton bloom in the polar Southern Ocean stimulated by iron fertilization
journal, October 2000

  • Boyd, Philip W.; Watson, Andrew J.; Law, Cliff S.
  • Nature, Vol. 407, Issue 6805
  • DOI: 10.1038/35037500

An improved parameterization for sulfuric acid–water nucleation rates for tropospheric and stratospheric conditions
journal, January 2002


Climate Effects of Black Carbon Aerosols in China and India
journal, September 2002


A global simulation of brown carbon: implications for photochemistry and direct radiative effect
journal, January 2016

  • Jo, Duseong S.; Park, Rokjin J.; Lee, Seungun
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 16, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-16-3413-2016

Observed 20th century desert dust variability: impact on climate and biogeochemistry
journal, January 2010

  • Mahowald, N. M.; Kloster, S.; Engelstaedter, S.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 10, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-10-10875-2010

Laboratory simulations and parameterization of the primary marine aerosol production: THE PRIMARY MARINE AEROSOL SOURCE
journal, May 2003

  • Mårtensson, E. M.; Nilsson, E. D.; de Leeuw, G.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 108, Issue D9
  • DOI: 10.1029/2002JD002263

Fractional iron solubility of atmospheric iron inputs to the Southern Ocean
journal, December 2015


A single parameter representation of hygroscopic growth and cloud condensation nucleus activity
journal, January 2007

  • Petters, M. D.; Kreidenweis, S. M.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 7, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-7-1961-2007

Atmospheric Processing of Combustion Aerosols as a Source of Bioavailable Iron
journal, February 2015


Present-day climate forcing and response from black carbon in snow
journal, January 2007

  • Flanner, Mark G.; Zender, Charles S.; Randerson, James T.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, Issue D11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006JD008003

Predictions of the spectral absorption and extinction coefficients of an urban air pollution aerosol model
journal, April 1972


Measurements of NOx and aerosol particles at the NY-A˚lesund Zeppelin mountain station on Svalbard: Influence of regional and local pollution sources
journal, April 1996


Atmospheric Iron Deposition: Global Distribution, Variability, and Human Perturbations
journal, January 2009


Iron supply and demand in the upper ocean
journal, March 2000

  • Fung, Inez Y.; Meyn, Stephanie K.; Tegen, Ina
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 14, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999GB900059

Anthropogenic iron oxide aerosols enhance atmospheric heating
journal, May 2017

  • Moteki, Nobuhiro; Adachi, Kouji; Ohata, Sho
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 8, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15329

Development of a global aerosol model using a two-dimensional sectional method: 1. Model design: 2-D SECTIONAL GLOBAL AEROSOL MODEL 1
journal, August 2017

  • Matsui, H.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 9, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017MS000936

The origin of water soluble particulate iron in the Asian atmospheric outflow: ORIGIN OF ASIAN WATER-SOLUBLE IRON
journal, April 2005

  • Chuang, P. Y.; Duvall, R. M.; Shafer, M. M.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2004GL021946

Impact of anthropogenic combustion emissions on the fractional solubility of aerosol iron: Evidence from the Sargasso Sea: FRACTIONAL SOLUBILITY OF AEROSOL IRON
journal, October 2007

  • Sedwick, Peter N.; Sholkovitz, Edward R.; Church, Thomas M.
  • Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 8, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007GC001586

Iron Transformation and Ash Fusibility during Coal Combustion in Air and O 2 /CO 2 Medium
journal, February 2012

  • Yu, Dunxi; Zhao, Liang; Zhang, Zuoyong
  • Energy & Fuels, Vol. 26, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1021/ef201786v

Aerosol Impacts on Climate and Biogeochemistry
journal, November 2011


Snowpack radiative heating: Influence on Tibetan Plateau climate
journal, January 2005


Change of iron species and iron solubility in Asian dust during the long-range transport from western China to Japan
journal, January 2011

  • Takahashi, Y.; Higashi, M.; Furukawa, T.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 11, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-11-11237-2011

Iron mobilization in mineral dust: Can anthropogenic SO 2 emissions affect ocean productivity?
journal, January 2003


Parameterization of surface resistances to gaseous dry deposition in regional-scale numerical models
journal, January 1989


A parameterization of aerosol activation: 2. Multiple aerosol types
journal, March 2000

  • Abdul-Razzak, Hayder; Ghan, Steven J.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 105, Issue D5
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JD901161

Importance of iron for plankton blooms and carbon dioxide drawdown in the Southern Ocean
journal, February 1995

  • de Baar, Hein J. W.; de Jong, Jeroen T. M.; Bakker, Dorothée C. E.
  • Nature, Vol. 373, Issue 6513
  • DOI: 10.1038/373412a0

A scaling theory for the size distribution of emitted dust aerosols suggests climate models underestimate the size of the global dust cycle
journal, December 2010


Characterisation of iron-rich atmospheric submicrometre particles in the roadside environment
journal, September 2016


Technical Note: Estimating aerosol effects on cloud radiative forcing
journal, January 2013


Atmospheric transport of iron and its deposition in the ocean
journal, December 1991


Impact of new particle formation on the concentrations of aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei around Beijing
journal, January 2011

  • Matsui, H.; Koike, M.; Kondo, Y.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 116, Issue D19
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JD016025

Impacts on iron solubility in the mineral dust by processes in the source region and the atmosphere: A review
journal, August 2012


A parameterization of aerosol activation 3. Sectional representation
journal, January 2002

  • Abdul-Razzak, Hayder
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 107, Issue D3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2001JD000483

Effects of aerosols on tropospheric oxidants: A global model study
journal, October 2001

  • Tie, Xuexi; Brasseur, Guy; Emmons, Louisa
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 106, Issue D19
  • DOI: 10.1029/2001JD900206

The integral role of iron in ocean biogeochemistry
journal, March 2017

  • Tagliabue, Alessandro; Bowie, Andrew R.; Boyd, Philip W.
  • Nature, Vol. 543, Issue 7643
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature21058

Combustion iron distribution and deposition: COMBUSTION IRON
journal, February 2008

  • Luo, Chao; Mahowald, N.; Bond, T.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 22, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007GB002964