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Title: Enhanced marine sulphur emissions offset global warming and impact rainfall

Abstract

Artificial fertilisation of the ocean has been proposed as a possible geoengineering method for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The associated increase in marine primary productivity may lead to an increase in emissions of dimethyl sulphide (DMS), the primary source of sulphate aerosol over remote ocean regions, potentially causing direct and cloud-related indirect aerosol effects on climate. This pathway from ocean fertilisation to aerosol induced cooling of the climate may provide a basis for solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering. In this study, we investigate the transient climate impacts of two emissions scenarios: an RCP4.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5) control; and an idealised scenario, based on RCP4.5, in which DMS emissions are substantially enhanced over ocean areas. We use mini-ensembles of a coupled atmosphere-ocean configuration of CESM1(CAM5) (Community Earth System Model version 1, with the Community Atmosphere Model version 5). We find that the cooling effect associated with enhanced DMS emissions beneficially offsets greenhouse gas induced warming across most of the world. However, the rainfall response may adversely affect water resources, potentially impacting human livelihoods. These results demonstrate that changes in marine phytoplankton activity may lead to a mixture of positive and negative impacts on the climate.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre (Singapore)
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre (Singapore)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1557434
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-94ER61937
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Grandey, B. S., and Wang, C. Enhanced marine sulphur emissions offset global warming and impact rainfall. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/srep13055.
Grandey, B. S., & Wang, C. Enhanced marine sulphur emissions offset global warming and impact rainfall. United States. doi:10.1038/srep13055.
Grandey, B. S., and Wang, C. Fri . "Enhanced marine sulphur emissions offset global warming and impact rainfall". United States. doi:10.1038/srep13055. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1557434.
@article{osti_1557434,
title = {Enhanced marine sulphur emissions offset global warming and impact rainfall},
author = {Grandey, B. S. and Wang, C.},
abstractNote = {Artificial fertilisation of the ocean has been proposed as a possible geoengineering method for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The associated increase in marine primary productivity may lead to an increase in emissions of dimethyl sulphide (DMS), the primary source of sulphate aerosol over remote ocean regions, potentially causing direct and cloud-related indirect aerosol effects on climate. This pathway from ocean fertilisation to aerosol induced cooling of the climate may provide a basis for solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering. In this study, we investigate the transient climate impacts of two emissions scenarios: an RCP4.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5) control; and an idealised scenario, based on RCP4.5, in which DMS emissions are substantially enhanced over ocean areas. We use mini-ensembles of a coupled atmosphere-ocean configuration of CESM1(CAM5) (Community Earth System Model version 1, with the Community Atmosphere Model version 5). We find that the cooling effect associated with enhanced DMS emissions beneficially offsets greenhouse gas induced warming across most of the world. However, the rainfall response may adversely affect water resources, potentially impacting human livelihoods. These results demonstrate that changes in marine phytoplankton activity may lead to a mixture of positive and negative impacts on the climate.},
doi = {10.1038/srep13055},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {8}
}

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