Scientists discover new link between marine algae and climate regulation

Tuesday, 4 June 2002

Release date: 4 June, 2002

Scientists discover new link between marine algae and climate regulation

Research by NUI, Galway's Professors Colin O Dowd and Gerard Jennings, along with a team of leading scientists from Finland, Germany, and the US have discovered a new mechanism for marine aerosol formation. Marine aerosols, and their cloud-forming component, comprise one of the most important climate regulation systems through their reflectance of the sun's rays.

Their research concluded that biogenic iodine vapours, released from marine algae such as plankton, kelp and seaweed, drives marine aerosol formation and thus climate regulation.

Changes in marine biota activities will alter the emissions of iodine vapours, which in turn, will alter the Earth's "heat-shield". The NUI, Galway, team are conducting more research into this topic this month and next, through a research programme funded by the European Commission and involving a group of 12 research institutes from around Europe and the US. The research is being conducted at the Mace Head Atmospheric Science Research Station in Carna, Co. Galway.

The studies at Mace Head are supported through the use of two research aircraft, one leased and managed by NUI, Galway, and a second from a German research Institute. The research planes are based in Galway and will help to quantify the regional extent of these aerosol plumes along the coast and out over the ocean.

The initial results were published this week in Nature, the premier research journal world wide, Professor O'Dowd's second article published in the journal in as many months. The first was focused on aerosol formation from volatile organic carbon-based vapours released from the forest canopy.

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418

Keywords:.

« Back

Press office

E info@nuigalway.ie
T +353 (0)91 493361

Press member?

Visit our press centre

Connect & share

Connect with us:

Facebook icon 32px YouTube icon 32px LinkedIn icon 32px RSS Icon 32px

Bookmark and Share

Related news