Extreme spikes in DMS flux double estimates of biogenic sulfur export from the Antarctic coastal zone to the atmosphere

Biogenic dimethylsulfide (DMS) is a significant contributor to sulfur flux from the oceans to the atmosphere, and the most significant source of aerosol non sea-salt sulfate (NSS-SO42−), a key regulator of global climate. Here we present the longest running time-series of DMS-water (DMSW) concentrations in the world, obtained at the Rothera Time-Series (RaTS) station in Ryder Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). We demonstrate the first ever evaluation of interseasonal and interannual variability in DMSW and associated flux to the atmosphere from the Antarctic coastal zone and determine the scale and importance of the region as a significant source of DMS. Impacts of climate modes such as El Niňo/Southern Oscillation are evaluated. Maximum DMSW concentrations occurred annually in January and were primarily associated with sea-ice break-up. These concentrations resulted in extremely high (up to 968 µmol m−2 d−1) DMS flux over short timescales, which are not parameterised in global-scale DMS climatologies. Calculated DMS flux stayed above the aerosol nucleation threshold of 2.5 µmol m−2 d−1 for 60% of the year. Overall, using flux determinations from this study, the total flux of DMS-sulfur from the Austral Polar Province (APLR) was 1.1 Tg sulfur yr−1, more than double the figure suggested by the most recent DMS climatologies.


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Authors: Webb, AL, van Leeuwe, MA, den Os, D, Meredith, Michael ORCIDORCID record for Michael Meredith, Venables, Hugh, Stefels, J

On this site: Hugh Venables, Michael Meredith
19 February, 2019
Scientific Reports / 9
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