National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1991

Climatic and environmental implications of biogas exchange at the sea surface: modeling DMS and the marine biologic sulfur cycle

Wolfe, G.V., T.S. Bates, and R.J. Charlson

In Ocean Margin Processes in Global Change, R.F.C. Mantoura, J.-M. Martin and R. Wollast (eds.), John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 383–400 (1991)

The direct and indirect climatic effects of trace gas emission by oceanic biota are considered; it is shown that the highest potential sensitivities derive from the change in remote marine stratus cloud albedo due to dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions. As a paradigm for modeling trace biogas emissions, a hierarchy of box models is employed to explore the controlling variables on the biogenic production of this gas in the global ocean. This remote marine scenario is contrasted with the climatic and environmental impacts of coastal regions, and the coupling of the sulfur cycle with those of other trace gases is considered. The need to understand controlling variables and processes is stressed as a means to understand the stability of the system.

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