National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1998

Shipboard measurements of dimethyl sulfide and SO2 southwest of Tasmania during the First Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE 1)

De Bruyn, W.J., T.S. Bates, J.M. Cainey, and E.S. Saltzman

J. Geophys. Res., 103(D13), 16,703–16,711, doi: 10.1029/98JD00971 (1998)

Measurements of seawater dimethylsulfide (DMS), atmospheric dimethylsulfide, and sulfur dioxide (SO) were made on board the R/V Discoverer in the Southern Ocean, southeast of Australia, as part of the First Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE 1). The measurements covered a latitude range of 40°S-55°S during November-December 1995. Seawater DMS concentrations ranged from 0.4 to 6.8 nM, with a mean of 1.7 ± 1.1 nM (1). The highest DMS concentrations were found in subtropical convergence zone waters north of 44°S, and the lowest were found in polar waters south of 49°S. In general, seawater DMS concentrations increased during the course of the study, presumably due to the onset of austral spring warming. Atmospheric DMS concentrations ranged from 24 to 350 parts per trillion by volume (pptv), with a mean of 112 ± 61 pptv (1). Atmospheric SO was predominantly of marine origin with occasional anthropogenic input, as evidenced by correlation with elevated Rn and air mass trajectories. Concentrations ranged from 3 to 1000 pptv with a mean of 48.8 ± 149 pptv (1) and a median 15.8 pptv. The mean SO concentration observed in undisturbed marine air was 11.9 ± 7.6 pptv (1), and the mean DMS to SO ratio in these conditions was 13 ± 9 (1). Diurnal variations in SO were observed, with a daytime maximum and early morning minimum in agreement with model simulations of DMS oxidation in the marine boundary layer. Steady state calculations and photochemical box model simulations suggest that the DMS to SO conversion efficiency in this region is 30-50%. Comparison of these results with results from warmer regions suggests that the DMS to SO conversion efficiency has a positive temperature dependence.

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