Theme 5: Ocean biogeochemical control on atmospheric chemistry


Atmospheric chemistry is crucial to understand the sources of gases and particles, their chemical transformations in the atmosphere, and to assess how atmospheric composition is influenced by changes in human and natural inputs. Ocean emissions of reactive gases and aerosols influence atmospheric photochemistry and oxidising capacity, air quality, and stratospheric ozone. Theme 5 focuses on the role of marine biogeochemical controls on the release and atmospheric chemistry of reactive and climate active gases, and how that will evolve in the changing ocean and atmosphere. Reliable characterisation is still missing of the chemical composition of sea surface emissions of reactive volatile gases (e.g., organohalogens, VOCs, OVOCs), how these are formed at the sea surface, and how a changing ocean is affecting the biogeochemistry of these emissions.

files/solas-int/content/downloads/Resources/Figures & Conceptual Diagrams/Theme 5.gif
Figure 5: Simplified schematic depiction of the most important couplings between ocean biogeochemical cycles and atmospheric chemistry.

Theme 5 Team

Team leaders:
Maria Cristina Facchini (Italy,
Alfonso Saiz-Lopez (Spain,
Team members:
Tom Bell (United Kingdom,
Anoop Mahajan (India,
Jurgita Ovadnevaite (Ireland,

Research questions

Key questions to be addressed within this theme are:

  • What are the marine biogeochemical controls on the release of photochemically reactive gases into the atmosphere?
  • How will future changes in ocean biogeochemistry and anthropogenic emissions (NOX, VOCs) interact to influence tropospheric photochemistry and stratospheric ozone?


Process-oriented campaigns
Conduct process-oriented campaigns to simultaneously study surface ocean cycling, sea-air gas exchange and atmospheric photochemistry. These will include marine biogeochemical studies to determine the link between gas emissions and the biological factors controlling their production (e.g. bloom dynamics, microbial ecology). The atmospheric component will provide the rates and mechanisms of atmospheric cycling of reactive emissions including their potential feedback processes with the ocean and anthropogenic pollution.

Reactive volatiles
Laboratory investigations of the reaction mechanisms and rates of formation of reactive volatiles at the sea surface should be conducted.

Combined modelling studies
We need combined modelling studies to improve mechanisms at the process level and to upscale from the local and regional scale to the global scale to study climate and biogeochemical impacts.

Planned activities

Workshop on Influence of coastal pollution on marine atmospheric chemistry: effects on climate and human health
Coastal pollution (air and water) is currently increasing and will most likely continue in the future as anthropogenic environmental pressure upon coastal marine areas increases. Coastal pollution has the potential to contribute to changes in marine atmospheric chemistry including air quality in coastal areas, in addition to contributing to global air pollution and climate. Furthermore, the influence of the coastal pollution on the atmospheric chemistry of gas and particles can have adverse effects on human health in populated coastal environments. Within this context, this 2-day workshop invites contributions on laboratory, field and modelling work in the following topics: (1) How coastal pollution (air and water) affects gas and particles emitted over the coasts and human health? (2) Effects on air quality-climate system (regional scale) and human health
Location: Roma, Italy
Dates: 27 - 28 November, 2018
Chairs: Cristina Maria Facchini, Alfonso Lopez, Hiroshi Tanimoto

- last update April 2018 -