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Fertilisation Potential of Volcanic Dust in Carbon Fixation and Climate Feedback in the Western North Pacific Subtropical Ocean

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Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 4:30 PM
Fertilisation Potential of Volcanic Dust in Carbon Fixation and Climate Feedback in the Western North Pacific Subtropical Ocean
Ballroom F (Austin Convention Center)
I.-I. Lin, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; and C. Hu, Y. H. Li, T. Y. Ho, T. Fischer, C. W. Huang, J. Wu, A. Chu, G. T. F. Wong, D. S. Ko, and J. P. Chen

The fertilisation of atmospheric aerosols, which promotes ocean biogeochemical activities in the low productivity waters of the earth, plays an important role in global iron, nitrogen, and carbon-biogeochemical cycling, thus is a critical component of the earth's climate system. Through the aerosol deposition process, macro and micro nutrients, such as N, P, and Fe, become available and stimulate ocean productivity responses and carbon fixation for climate feedback. For several decades, research on the aerosol nutrient supply has focused on desert dust. Meanwhile, it has been suggested that volcanic dust is a much-neglected aerosol source which may also provide nutrients to stimulate ocean biogeochemical responses. Research on volcanic fertilisation is still in its infancy, and very little real world evidence has been obtained. This is especially true for the Low Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (LNLC) waters, since most current results report on findings over the High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) waters. In May 2003, the Anatahan volcano in the Northern Mariana Islands erupted for the first time in recorded history. As it strategically locates in one of the most oligotrophic LNLC ocean deserts on Earth, i.e., the western North Pacific subtropical gyre, this motivated us to use satellite remote sensing and laboratory experiment to search for evidence of volcanic fertilisation over the LNLC waters. Our results based on the 2003 Anatahan event suggest that through provision of Fe and P, volcanic aerosols could indeed make significant contribution to stimulate biogeochemical activity and carbon fixation in the LNLC water.

Reference: I-I Lin, Chuanmin Hu, Yuan-Hui Li, Tung-Yuan Ho, Tobias Fischer, George T. F. Wong, Jingfeng Wu, Chih-Wei Huang, D. Allen Chu, Dong-San Ko, and Jen-Ping Chen, Fertilisation Potential of Volcanic Dust in the Low Nutrient Low Chlorophyll Western North Pacific Subtropical Gyre - Satellite Evidence and Laboratory Study, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 25, doi:10.1029/2009GB003758, Feb. 26, 2011. I-I Lin, Chuanmin Hu, Yuan-Hui Li, Tung-Yuan Ho, Tobias Fischer, George T. F. Wong, Jingfeng Wu, Chih-Wei Huang, D. Allen Chu, Dong-San Ko, and Jen-Ping Chen, Volcanic-Induced Large Scale Carbon Drawdown in an Low Nutrient Low Production Ocean Desert, in submission, 2012.