Scientists can predict carbon emissions from the ocean due to deep -diving micro -organisms

Hiki i nā kānaka ʻepekema ke wānana i ka hoʻoili kalapona ma ke kai ma muli o nā meaola liʻiliʻi luʻu hohonu

Micro-scale simulations. a) Diagram showing the dynamics of a micro-scale model based on the loss areas. Primary inhibitors (red microbes) convert polymeric organisms (dark blue) into low molecular weight (LMWOM, light blue) using extracellular enzymes (yellow). Damage occurs due to death (gray microbes) and detachment (purple microbes). b) Demonstrate a model water column with a focus on a particle (blue) falling on the water column. Each piece is given an initial radius, lability, and setting of biological parameter values ​​at the depth of foundation (see characteristics). The microbial dynamics relative to the particle then changes prognostically for each particle as it descends into the water column and is eliminated by microbial activity. The total amount of carbon dioxide in the water column is obtained by summing up all the losses. aie: Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-022-29297-2

Call them hitchhikers; Microbes play an important role in binding to particles on the surface of the ocean. They run all the way to the bottom, transferring carbon to the deepest waters of the ocean. The journey can go weeks to months, although I think the numbers are tough – until now.

A group of earth scientists led by USC found that the speed of this carbon transfer is influenced by the size and type of bacteria that bind to the particles. The researcher was able to develop a computer model for estimating carbon emissions, a part of the Earth’s natural carbon cycle that captures its atmosphere, in oceans around the world.

That information was published in the journal on Monday Nature Communications, to shed light on the movement of carbon – including pollution from cars – from the air to the ocean, and eventually to the deep ocean, says Naomi Levine, a professor of biological, quantitative and computational biology and earth sciences at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Operations and Sciences.

The discovery of carbon dioxide could help scientists better understand how the Earth stores carbon in the deepest parts of its oceans – or how much carbon goes back to the sky, said Levine.

“This is the first time we have been able to build a model to predict carbon dioxide emissions in the ocean based on these micro-scale processes observed in the lab,” Levine said. . “We show that processes are important.”

Because microbes play an important role in carbon transfer, scientists are interested in understanding their colonies and survival. If they don’t, “carbon will fall deep into the ocean. This will affect the amount of CO2 stay in the air, “Levine said.

Some like the heat

By some estimates, the oceans contain 38,000 gigatons of carbon – up to 16 times more than is found in the Earth’s biosphere. Carbon dioxide is present in the ocean. While it is responsible for the warming of the ocean surface, it is important for any life, just like phytoplankton – the plants of the ocean. However, CO is increasing2 The more acid the water, the more likely it is to threaten the survival of some marine life – with corals and kelps being the main food for marine life.

The research team found that the amount of carbon loss in the ocean – and the depth of conversion – also depends on how far the bacteria have traveled over the course of their lives. For some bacteria, this is a short journey, and unlike those eaten pieces, they cannot reach the deep sea, which is more than 1,000 meters from the surface. On the other hand, the amount of carbon released increases when hungry hitchhikers eat the pieces – sitting on the surface of the ocean and back into the air.

“There’s a lot of death or dying with these bacteria. That’s the effect of how quickly they can break down into these pieces,” said Trang Nguyen, a research author who is the USC Dornsife post- doctoral research associate. “By breaking down the pieces, they also release nitrogen and phosphorus into the ecosystem, which is an important part of the cycle of these materials.”

And identifying the bacteria that live in areas of the ocean could help scientists tweak the model to better predict the local amount of carbon emissions – or emissions, depending on the situation. the growth of bacteria or not.

Levine has collaborated with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC San Diego and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.


The era of the marine carbon dioxide


More information:
Trang TH Nguyen et al, Microbes provide regulation of ocean carbon flow by altering the effect of damaged particles, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-022-29297-2

Presented by the University of Southern California

Directions: Scientists can predict carbon emissions at sea by deep -sea micro -organisms (2022, March 31) retrieved March 31, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/ 2022-03-scientists-carbon-ocean-based-deep -diving.html

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