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Web Date: August 17, 2011

Pollution Changes Ocean Nutrients

Biogeochemistry: Acidifying phosphorus-containing dust makes element more accessible to ocean ecosystems
Department: ACS News
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: aerosol, atmosphere, pollution, ocean, nutrient

Airborne acids react with dust particles and transform the dust’s phosphorus into a more available form for marine organisms, according to studies of Saharan dust collected in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Atmos. Chem. Phys., DOI: 10.5194/acp-11-6265-2011).

Like iron and nitrogen, phosphorus is an essential but limiting nutrient in marine ecosystems. Near continents, phosphorus comes to the ocean in rivers, but in the open ocean, airborne sources are important. Mineral aerosols, such as those from . . .

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