Deschaseaux Elisabeth S. M.

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Last Name
Deschaseaux
First Name
Elisabeth S. M.
ORCID
0000-0002-9871-7338

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Parameterizing the impact of seawater temperature and irradiance on dimethylsulfide (DMS) in the Great Barrier Reef and the contribution of coral reefs to the global sulfur cycle

2021-02-15 , Jackson, Rebecca L. , Gabric, Albert , Matrai, Patricia A. , Woodhouse, Matthew T. , Cropp, Roger , Jones, Graham B. , Deschaseaux, Elisabeth S. M. , Omori, Yuko , McParland, Erin L. , Swan, Hilton B. , Tanimoto, Hiroshi

Biogenic emissions of dimethylsulfide (DMS) are an important source of sulfur to the atmosphere, with implications for aerosol formation and cloud albedo over the ocean. Natural aerosol sources constitute the largest uncertainty in estimates of aerosol radiative forcing and climate and thus, an improved understanding of DMS sources is needed. Coral reefs are strong point sources of DMS; however, this coral source of biogenic sulfur is not explicitly included in climatologies or in model simulations. Consequently, the role of coral reefs in local and regional climate remains uncertain. We aim to improve the representation of tropical coral reefs in DMS databases by calculating a climatology of seawater DMS concentration (DMSw) and sea-air flux in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. DMSw is calculated from remotely sensed observations of sea surface temperature and photosynthetically active radiation using a multiple linear regression model derived from field observations of DMSw in the GBR. We estimate that coral reefs and lagoon waters in the GBR (∼347,000 km2) release 0.03–0.05 Tg yr−1 of DMS (0.02 Tg yr−1 of sulfur). Based on this estimate, global tropical coral reefs (∼600,000 km2) could emit 0.08 Tg yr−1 of DMS (0.04 Tg yr−1 of sulfur), with the potential to influence the local radiative balance.