The Reef Aerosol Cloud Climate Feedback over the Great Barrier Reef and Western Pacific and Links to Coral Bleaching
Date: 19 April
Who: A/Prof Graham Jones from Southern Cross University, New South Wales
Where: UQ Room 139 Goddard Building (8)
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 over reefs when SSTs 30⁰C emissions of DMS from coral reefs 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” occurs over the Great Barrier Reef and the western Pacific which significantly affects the climate of this region.