Potential Impact of Microbial Activity on the Oxidant Capacity and the Organic Carbon Budget in Clouds

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 12:00 AM
124A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Anne Marie Delort, Clermont UniversitÚ, Aubiere, France; and L. Deguillaume, M. Vaitilingom, V. Vinatier, M. Sancelme, N. Chaumerliac, and P. Amato

Within cloud water, microorganisms are metabolically active; so they are suspected to contribute to atmospheric chemistry. This paper is focused on the interactions between microorganisms and Reactive Oxygenated Species present in cloud water since these chemical compounds are driving the oxidant capacity of the cloud system[1]. For this, real cloud waters with contrasting features (marine, continental, urban) were sampled at the puy de D˘me mountain (France). They exhibit high microbial biodiversity and complex chemical composition. These media were incubated in the dark and subjected to UV-light radiation in specifically designed photo-bio-reactors. The concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), organic compounds and the ATP/ADP ratio were monitored during the incubation period. Microorganisms remained metabolically active in the presence of hydroxyl radicals (ĽOH) photo-produced from H2O2. This oxidant and major carbon compounds (formaldehyde and carboxylic acids) were biodegraded by the endogenous microflora. This work suggests that microorganisms could play a double role in atmospheric chemistry: first, they could directly metabolize organic carbon species; second they could reduce the available source of radicals due to their oxidative metabolism. Consequently, molecules such as H2O2 would be no longer available for photochemical or other chemical reactions, decreasing the cloud oxidant capacity.

[1]Va´tilingom M., Deguillaume L., Vinatier L., Sancelme M., Amato P., Chaumerliac N. and Delort A-M (2013). Potential impact of microbial activity on the oxidant capacity and the organic carbon budget in clouds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 110 (2), 559-564.