Changing atmospheric acidity as a modulator of nutrient deposition and ocean biogeochemistry

Alex R. Baker, Maria Kanakidou, Athanasios Nenes, Stelios Myriokefalitakis, Peter L. Croot, Robert A. Duce, Yuan Gao, Cécile Guieu, Akinori Ito, Tim D. Jickells, Natalie M. Mahowald, Rob Middag, Morgane M.G. Perron, Manmohan M. Sarin, Rachel Shelley, David R. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anthropogenic emissions to the atmosphere have increased the flux of nutrients, especially nitrogen, to the ocean, but they have also altered the acidity of aerosol, cloud water, and precipitation over much of the marine atmosphere. For nitrogen, acidity-driven changes in chemical speciation result in altered partitioning between the gas and particulate phases that subsequently affect long-range transport. Other important nutrients, notably iron and phosphorus, are affected, because their soluble fractions increase upon exposure to acidic environments during atmospheric transport. These changes affect the magnitude, distribution, and deposition mode of individual nutrients supplied to the ocean, the extent to which nutrient deposition interacts with the sea surface microlayer during its passage into bulk seawater, and the relative abundances of soluble nutrients in atmospheric deposition. Atmospheric acidity change therefore affects ecosystem composition, in addition to overall marine productivity, and these effects will continue to evolve with changing anthropogenic emissions in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabd8800
JournalScience Advances
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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