[en] Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gases that has a lifetime of 114 years in the atmosphere and a global warming potential 300 time higher than that of CO2. However there are still large uncertainties and gaps in the understanding of the N2O cycle in polar oceans and particularly associated to sea ice. Sources and sinks of N2O are therefore poorly quantified. To date, only one study by Randall et al. 2012 present N2O measurements in sea ice. They pointed out that sea ice formation and melt has the potential to generate sea-air or air-sea fluxes of N2O, respectively.
The main processes (except the transport processes) involved in the N2O cycle within the aquatic environment are nitrification and denitrification. Recent observations of significant nitrification in Antarctic sea ice shed a new light on nitrogen cycle within sea ice. It has been suggested that nitrification supplies up to 70% of nitrate assimilated within Antarctic spring sea ice. Corollary, production of N2O, a by-product of nitrification, can potentially be significant. Our recent studies in Antarctic land fast ice in McMurdo Sound, confirmed this suggestion, where N2O release to the atmosphere was estimated to reach 4 µmol.m-2.yr-1. But this assessment is probably an underestimation since it only accounts for dissolved N2O while a significant amount of N2O is likely to occur in the gaseous form like N2, O2 and Ar.
We will then address the new tools to measure the bulk concentration of N2O (dissolved and gaseous) in sea ice, and the production of N2O by sympagic microorganisms - what process is dominant and how much N2O is produced - based on the first time series of N2O measurement in sea ice. The determination of the isotopic composition of N2O using cavity enhanced laser absorption spectroscopy technique (Off-axis ICOS) will allow us to determine the origin of these processes.
Research center :
FOCUS - Freshwater and OCeanic science Unit of reSearch - ULiège
Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Author, co-author :
Kotovitch, Marie ; Université de Liège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Chemical Oceanography Unit (AGO)
Tison, Jean-Louis; Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB
Fripiat, François; Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
Sapart, Célia; Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB
Carnat, Gauthier; Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB
Moreau, Sébastien; University of Tasmania
Deman, Florian; Vrije Universiteit Brussel - VUB
Van der Linden, Fanny ; Université de Liège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Chemical Oceanography Unit (AGO)
Delille, Bruno ; Université de Liège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO)
N2O dynamics in sea ice, insights from a first time series and isotopic tools
Alternative titles :
[fr] La dynamique du N2O dans la glace de mer, introspection à partir d'une première série de données ainsi que d'outils isotopiques