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Title: Impacts of Shifts in Phytoplankton Community on Clouds and Climate via the Sulfur Cycle

Abstract

Dimethyl sulfide (DMS), primarily produced by marine organisms, contributes significantly to sulfate aerosol loading over the ocean after being oxidized in the atmosphere. In addition to exerting a direct radiative effect, the resulting aerosol particles act as cloud condensation nuclei, modulating cloud properties and extent, with impacts on atmospheric radiative transfer and climate. Thus, changes in pelagic ecosystems, such as phytoplankton physiology and community structure, may influence organosulfur production, and subsequently affect climate via the sulfur cycle. A fully coupled Earth system model, including explicit marine ecosystems and the sulfur cycle, is used here to investigate the impacts of changes associated with individual phytoplankton groups on DMS emissions and climate. Simulations show that changes in phytoplankton community structure, DMS production efficiency, and interactions of multielement biogeochemical cycles can all lead to significant differences in DMS transfer to the atmosphere. Subsequent changes in sulfate aerosol burden, cloud condensation nuclei number, and radiative effect are examined. Here, we find the global annual mean cloud radiative effect shifts up to 0.21 W/m 2, and the mean surface temperature increases up to 0.1 °C due to DMS production changes associated with individual phytoplankton group in simulations with radiative effects at the 2,100 levels undermore » an 8.5 scenario. However, changes in DMS emissions, radiative effect, and surface temperature are more intensive on regional scales. Hence, we speculate that major uncertainties associated with future marine sulfur cycling will involve strong region-to-region climate shifts. Further understanding of marine ecosystems and the relevant phytoplankton-aerosol-climate linkage are needed for improving climate projections.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1457471
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1457472; OSTI ID: 1481139; OSTI ID: 1512606; OSTI ID: 1558386
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-30988; LLNL-JRNL-749059; PNNL-SA-131065
Journal ID: ISSN 0886-6236
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; AC52‐07NA27344; AC52-07NA27344; AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0886-6236
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences; phytoplankton; dimethyl sulfide; community composition change; climate impact; DMS, dimethyl sulfide, DMS, Aerosol-Cloud Interactions, sulfur cycle, Climate & Earth System Models, global Earth System Model, phytoplankton, ocean biogeochemistry

Citation Formats

Wang, Shanlin, Maltrud, Mathew E., Burrows, Susannah M., Elliott, Scott M., and Cameron-Smith, Philip. Impacts of Shifts in Phytoplankton Community on Clouds and Climate via the Sulfur Cycle. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2017GB005862.
Wang, Shanlin, Maltrud, Mathew E., Burrows, Susannah M., Elliott, Scott M., & Cameron-Smith, Philip. Impacts of Shifts in Phytoplankton Community on Clouds and Climate via the Sulfur Cycle. United States. doi:10.1029/2017GB005862.
Wang, Shanlin, Maltrud, Mathew E., Burrows, Susannah M., Elliott, Scott M., and Cameron-Smith, Philip. Sun . "Impacts of Shifts in Phytoplankton Community on Clouds and Climate via the Sulfur Cycle". United States. doi:10.1029/2017GB005862.
@article{osti_1457471,
title = {Impacts of Shifts in Phytoplankton Community on Clouds and Climate via the Sulfur Cycle},
author = {Wang, Shanlin and Maltrud, Mathew E. and Burrows, Susannah M. and Elliott, Scott M. and Cameron-Smith, Philip},
abstractNote = {Dimethyl sulfide (DMS), primarily produced by marine organisms, contributes significantly to sulfate aerosol loading over the ocean after being oxidized in the atmosphere. In addition to exerting a direct radiative effect, the resulting aerosol particles act as cloud condensation nuclei, modulating cloud properties and extent, with impacts on atmospheric radiative transfer and climate. Thus, changes in pelagic ecosystems, such as phytoplankton physiology and community structure, may influence organosulfur production, and subsequently affect climate via the sulfur cycle. A fully coupled Earth system model, including explicit marine ecosystems and the sulfur cycle, is used here to investigate the impacts of changes associated with individual phytoplankton groups on DMS emissions and climate. Simulations show that changes in phytoplankton community structure, DMS production efficiency, and interactions of multielement biogeochemical cycles can all lead to significant differences in DMS transfer to the atmosphere. Subsequent changes in sulfate aerosol burden, cloud condensation nuclei number, and radiative effect are examined. Here, we find the global annual mean cloud radiative effect shifts up to 0.21 W/m2, and the mean surface temperature increases up to 0.1 °C due to DMS production changes associated with individual phytoplankton group in simulations with radiative effects at the 2,100 levels under an 8.5 scenario. However, changes in DMS emissions, radiative effect, and surface temperature are more intensive on regional scales. Hence, we speculate that major uncertainties associated with future marine sulfur cycling will involve strong region-to-region climate shifts. Further understanding of marine ecosystems and the relevant phytoplankton-aerosol-climate linkage are needed for improving climate projections.},
doi = {10.1029/2017GB005862},
journal = {Global Biogeochemical Cycles},
number = 6,
volume = 32,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1029/2017GB005862

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