During a recently conducted study, scientists have found evidence supporting a new link between the atmosphere and ocean microbes. This new finding might change the way climate models are formed and interpreted and may also modify our knowledge of climate change.

Our environment is deeply influenced by cool mist. Cool mist, which is water vapor present in the air, changes the way sunlight get reflected off the water. Also, it also plays an extremely vital role in cloud formation. The new study has found that ocean microbes possess the ability to alter the chemical composition of water before it enters the air.

When Phytoplankton or any other organism gets broken down by microbes or bacteria, chemicals including certain types of protein, lipids and sugar might be released. Researchers have found that these chemicals might get released into our atmosphere via the mist.


During the study, researchers created a phytoplankton bloom in the lab. For that, they used a wave machine filled with 3,400 gallons water gathered from California coast. They found that the microbes present in the water managed to change the chemical composition of the mist entering the air. The feature of microbes became apparent, particularly when lipids, something that usually separate easily from water, got examined.

Concentration of lipids was particularly higher in the SSA (sea spray aerosol) particles transmitted through bubbles that burst within the liquid. The researchers involved in this new study concluded that these chemicals might influence our environment significantly.

Must Read: Ocean microbes might have direct impact on climate change and atmosphere: study

According to the researchers, the freshly released SSA particles contain both organic materials and sea salt and in some cases the organic materials present in these particles are higher in quantity than the other substances forming them. The percentage of organic materials present in SSA particles is usually more if the particles have smaller diameters.

For those who don’t know: 70% of our planet’s surface comprises of oceans. So, quite obviously, these oceans play an extremely significant role in determining how the Earth would be responding to the constant climate change; it also has direct links with global warming. Also, the majority of the questions surrounding our planet’s reactions to the augmenting concentration of greenhouse gases are based on how oceans interact with our atmosphere.

SOURCEACS Central Science