Massive nitrous oxide emissions from the tropical South Pacific Ocean

Arevalo-Martínez, Damian L., Kock, Annette, Löscher, Carolin, Schmitz, Ruth A. and Bange, Hermann W. (2015) Massive nitrous oxide emissions from the tropical South Pacific Ocean Nature Geoscience, 8 (7). pp. 530-533. DOI 10.1038/ngeo2469.

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Abstract

Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas and a key compound in stratospheric ozone depletion. In the ocean, nitrous oxide is produced at intermediate depths through nitrification and denitrification, in particular at low oxygen concentrations. Although a third of natural emissions of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere originate from the ocean, considerable uncertainties in the distribution and magnitude of the emissions still exist. Here we present high-resolution surface measurements and vertical profiles of nitrous oxide that include the highest reported nitrous oxide concentrations in marine surface waters, suggesting that there is a hotspot of nitrous oxide emissions in high-productivity upwelling ecosystems along the Peruvian coast. We estimate that off Peru, the extremely high nitrous oxide supersaturations we observed drive a massive efflux of 0.2–0.9 Tg of nitrogen emitted as nitrous oxide per year, equivalent to 5–22% of previous estimates of global marine nitrous oxide emissions. Nutrient and gene abundance data suggest that coupled nitrification–denitrification in the upper oxygen minimum zone and transport of resulting nitrous oxide to the surface by upwelling lead to the high nitrous oxide concentrations. Our estimate of nitrous oxide emissions from the Peruvian coast surpasses values from similar, highly productive areas.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000357404200014
Keywords: Nitrous oxide, Peruvian upwelling, oxygen minimum zone
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R07
Kiel University > Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Institute of General Microbiology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/ngeo2469
ISSN: 1752-0894
Projects: SOPRAN, InGOS, SFB754, Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 08:40
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2017 09:58
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/29006

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