Climate change impacts on natural sulfur production: ocean acidification and community shifts

Utilizing the reduced-complexity model Hector, a regional scale analysis was conducted quantifying the possible effects climate change may have on dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions within the oceans. The investigation began with a review of the sulfur cycle in modern Earth system models. We then expanded the biogeochemical representation within Hector to include a natural ocean component while accounting for acidification and planktonic community shifts. The report presents results from both a latitudinal and a global perspective. This new approach highlights disparate outcomes which have been inadequately characterized via planetary averages in past publications. Our findings suggest that natural sulfur emissions (ESN) may exert a forcing up to 4 times that of the CO2 marine feedback, 0.62 and 0.15 Wm−2, respectively, and reverse the radiative forcing sign in low latitudes. Additionally, sensitivity tests were conducted to demonstrate the need for further examination of the DMS loop. Ultimately, the present work attempts to include dynamic ESN within reduced-complexity simulations of the sulfur cycle, illustrating its impact on the global radiative budget.

Menzo Z. M., Elliot S., Hartin C. A., Hoffman F. M. & Wang S., 2018. Climate change impacts on natural sulfur production: ocean acidification and community shifts. Atmosphere 9: 167. doi:10.3390/atmos9050167. Article.

 

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