Levels of Dimethyl Sulphide Climate Cooling Gas Will Change as Carbon Dioxide Increases

Levels of a climate cooling gas will change as carbon dioxide increases, affecting food webs along the way, said Dr Michael Steinke at a Science Media Centre press briefing today.

Microbes in the ocean produce the gas dimethyl sulphide, or DMS. It causes clouds to form above the sea, which reflect the sun’s rays away from the earth. Research suggests that plankton produce more DMS when they get hot so that clouds will cool them down. “Our work on the effect of carbon dioxide on DMS levels showed some interesting results” said Dr Steinke, from the University of Essex. “DMS production is likely to change in the future.”

DMS is responsible for the “seaside smell”. Dr Steinke discovered that plankton may use DMS when looking for prey like the way bees are attracted to fragrant flowers. “The role of DMS in climate change has been studied for years. Its role in marine ecology was unknown and this is what we are investigating.”

Marine animals including seals and birds use DMS to find food and navigate. “DMS plays an important role in oceanic food webs” said Dr Steinke. “If DMS levels change, many marine animals could find it more difficult to search for their prey.” This could have an effect on the food we eat.

Current discussions include using DMS in the “eco-engineering” of climate. Its cloud forming ability could be used to reduce global warming. However, Dr Steinke’s results show it may not be simple. “We have found that the production of DMS is much more complex than we thought and there will be plenty more surprises to come.”

http://www.sgm.ac.uk/

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Azthena logo with the word Azthena

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.