The air-sea exchange is one of the main mechanisms maintaining the abundances of trace gases in the atmosphere. Some of these, such as carbon dioxide and dimethyl sulphide (DMS), will have a bearing on the atmospheric heat budget. While the former facilitates the trapping of radiation (greenhouse effect) the latter works in the opposite direction through reflectance of radiation back into space by sulphate aerosols that form from oxidation of DMS in atmosphere. Here we report on the first measurements made on DMS in the Bay of Bengal and the factors regulating its abundance in seawater. Phytoplankton alone does not seem to control the extent of DMS concentrations. We find that changes in salinity could effectively regulate the extent of DMSP production by marine phytoplankton. In addition, we provide the first ever evidence to the occurrence of DMS precursor, DMSP, in marine aerosols collected in the boundary layer. This suggests that the marine aerosol transport of DMSP will supplement DMS gaseous evasion in maintaining the atmospheric non-sea salt sulphur budget.
Volume 129, 2020
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