National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1990

Oceanic dimethylsulfide and marine aerosol: Difficulties associated with assessing their covariance

Bates, T.S., A.D. Clarke, V.N. Kapustin, J.E. Johnson, and R.J. Charlson

Global Biogeochem. Cy., 3(4), 299–304, doi: 10.1029/GB003i004p00299 (1989)

Simultaneous measurements of oceanic dimethylsulfide (DMS), atmospheric aerosol sulfate and the size-resolved physical properties of the aerosol were made aboard a ship in the equatorial Pacific during July 1987. Under light and variable winds, in an area essentially free of continental and anthropogenic air masses, an observed increase in oceanic DMS concentrations preceded simultaneous increases in non-sea salt sulfate aerosol, the fraction of volatile submicrometer (sub-µm) aerosol, the condensation nuclei population, and the mean particle diameter of the sub-µm aerosol. Although the increase in oceanic DMS can qualitatively account for the corresponding changes in the atmospheric aerosol particles, there are numerous difficulties in quantifying the relationship between the sea-to-air flux of DMS and the formation and growth of atmospheric aerosol particles.

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