[ATM S 521] Jones on "The Reef Aerosol Cloud Climate Feedback over the Great Barrier Reef and Western Pacific and Links to Coral Bleaching"

Start Date/Time: Thursday, June 06, 2013, 3:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Thursday, June 06, 2013, 4:50 PM
Location: JHN 175

Atmos & Climate Dynamics Seminar
Coordinator: Prof. Christopher Bretherton

Speaker: Graham Jones, Associate Professor, Marine Ecology Research Centre, School of Environment, Science & Engineering, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
Title: "The Reef Aerosol Cloud Climate Feedback over the Great Barrier Reef and Western Pacific and Links to Coral Bleaching"

Abstract:
There is now a significant amount of evidence which strongly suggests that coral reefs produce cloud nucleating aerosol substances such as dimethylsulphide (DMS) that affect low level cloud formation over reefs in the Great Barrier Reef and western Pacific, thus affecting sea surface temperatures. This talk will review this information and highlight recent studies at Heron Island that suggest that coral reefs produce “seed” aerosol particles that lead to low level cloud formation (i.e. marine stratiform cloud). The state of the tide and rainfall events over reefs produce huge pulses of atmospheric DMS when SSTs <30°C. When SSTs > 30°C emissions of DMS from coral reefs seem to shut down due to these substances being used as antioxidants in the corals symbiosis and could exacerbate coral bleaching episodes. This research strongly suggests that a “Reef Aerosol Cloud Feedback” could occur over the Great Barrier Reef and the western Pacific and significantly affect the climate of this region.