National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1987

Evidence for the climatic role of marine biogenic sulphur

Bates, T.S., R.J. Charlson, and R.H. Gammon

Nature, 329(6137), 319–321, doi: 10.1038/329319a0 (1987)

Oceanic dimethylsulphide (DMS) emissions and atmospheric aerosol particle populations (condensation nuclei, CN), resolved by latitude and season, appear to be directly correlated, in that CN, as measured with a condensation nucleus counter, are high (or low) in regions where DMS fluxes and incident solar radiation are high (or low). Although it has been previously hypothesized that CN are produced from DMS, we report the first attempt to correlate DMS flux and CN. As the population of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in marine air is a subset of the CN population, and CCN in turn control the albedo of marine clouds, DMS could be involved in climate control through a cloud albedo feedback mechanism.

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