Navigation Links
Sinking organic materials produce carbon dioxide

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts have found a remarkable effect while studying how marine particles sink, which could affect the way scientists assess global carbon fluxes. Their question - How fast does organic material and debris clumped together forming porous particles settle to the sea floor? Microbes colonizing these particles degrade the organic matter and release carbon dioxide back to the water. The downward velocity of the particles determines the amount of carbon exported to the deep sea. The results from this study are now presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012319108).

Structured like sponges, the marine particles are porous aggregates that are mostly void and made of water to 95% or more. Because the world's oceans are stratified due to temperature and/or salinity, water density increases with depth. On their way down to the deep ocean, marine aggregates can reach a depth where they approach neutral buoyancy, stopping in their descent until the exchange of low-density water and heavier ambient water allows settling to resume. Kolja Kindler, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, points out that although thin layers of marine aggregates have often been observed in nature, this effect has been previously neglected in particle transport models.

In this study by Kindler and colleagues, the results from laboratory experiments and a mathematical model demonstrate this effect for the first time. As the particles are impermeable to flow, the only means of exchanging water is by diffusion. As a result, the larger the size of the aggregates, the more time they spend in the stratified layer.

Arzhang Khalili from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology says, "Large marine aggregates may have a longer residence time in the water column than previously expected. This shows that we should revisit current approaches to particle settling to include the effect of porosity, if we want to improve our estimate of the carbon flux in the ocean."

"The deeper we look at microscale phenomena in the ocean, the more we discover that they are the processes that really govern how the Oceans work. Our chances of developing a sustainable approach to how we interact with and use the Oceans hinge on how well we can understand processes at these small scales" adds Roman Stocker from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Contact: Arzhang Khalili

Related biology news :

1. Whale sharks do the math to avoid that sinking feeling
2. WSU researchers taking sustainability of organic farming to new level
3. Is organic farming good for wildlife? It depends on the alternative
4. On organic coffee farm, complex interactions keep pests under control
5. Balanced ecosystems seen in organic ag better at controlling pests
6. Organic pesticides not always greener choice, study finds
7. Delineating primary and secondary organic carbon in neoproterozoic glacial sediments
8. New model is proposed to explain absence of organic compounds on surface of Mars
9. The Reaxys Ph.D. Prize awards innovative research in organic, organometallic and inorganic chemistry
10. Organic solids in soil may speed up bacterial breathing
11. Can organic labels backfire?
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Sinking organic materials produce carbon dioxide
(Date:6/14/2017)... PARIS , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ... the international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will ... deliver value in various industries. ... in the international market, with a 30 percent increase in ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ... of online age and identity verification solutions, announced today ... Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, ... Building and International Trade Center. Identity ... globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. ... policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. spent ... entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August 31st, 2017 ... joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, Grossmont ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced ... by which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents ... ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell ... limbs saved as compared to standard bone marrow ... HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: