That cool mist we feel on our feet and faces when we go to the beach, which is called sea or ocean spray, is also very important in our environment.
This cold, wet water mist interacts with the air changes the way sunlight is reflected and is redirected from the surface of the water. This process is also very important in the formation of the clouds, the researchers explained.
Also, the microbes that live in the ocean can actually modify the water’s chemistry before it gets transferred through the air.
The new study was conducted by a team of scientists from the Center of Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment.
The researchers discovered that when microorganisms like photoplankton die and start to decay, the bacteria start to break, releasing proteins and chemicals as well as lipids and sugars into the water.
These compounds are then sent into the atmosphere through the ocean mist.
The researchers wanted to study closely this whole process so the simulated the scenario in the laboratory.
The experiment involved producing a photoplankton bloom into a wave machine that contained approximately 3,400 gallons of water which the researchers managed to collect from the coast of California.
After conducting the experiment, the scientists found that the microbes that live in the water can actually modify the chemistry of the ocean mist prior to being transferred into the air.
The researchers observed this on the lipids that managed to separate from the water.
The experts explained that when the water’s chemistry is altered, the particles of sea spray aerosol start to form and carry the lipids in larger concentrations when these are transported via bubbles, which burst into liquid and profoundly change the environment, leading to climate change.
The scientists explained that these sea spray aerosols have a composition that consists of sea salt and other organic materials.
Oceans cover more than 70% of our planet’s surface, which can alter how oceans respond to climate change.
Researchers pointed out the fact that this will also help them better understand how the effects of greenhouse gases can affect the relation of the atmosphere with the world’s oceans.
The scientists detailed the findings of their recent study in the journal American Chemical Society’s Central Science.
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