Advancing our understanding of the role of organic matter in surface films of oceanic air-water gas exchange\r\n\r\nOceans are a global reservoir of greenhouse gases, estimated to account for 20–40% of the post-industrial sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). However, quantifying the exchange of gases such as CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) between the ocean and atmosphere is a major challenge. Understanding how the ocean’s organic skin layer modulates this exchange is critical to estimate the intrinsic oceanic sinks and sources of these key greenhouse gases both now and in the future. Organic substances in the skin layer, known as surfactants, span across traditional operational definitions and are derived from multiple sources undergoing biotic and abiotic transformations along the land-ocean continuum. This proposal will investigate a land-ocean transect from South America toward the African Continent to investigate organic matter control of air-water gas exchange. Central to this work is the application of new advanced geochemical characterisation techniques to constrain the sources and reactivity potential of surfactants. This new and unique data will be incorporated into climate simulation models to examine the surfactant suppression of gas exchange – both now and in the future.
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Dittmar, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Prof. Dr. Gesine Mollenhauer, Universität Bremen
Prof. Dr. Boris Koch, Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), Bremerhaven
Prof. Dr. Oliver Wurl, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg