A perspective on iron (Fe) in the atmosphere: air quality, climate, and the ocean
As scientists engage in research motivated by climate change and the impacts of pollution on air, water, and human health, we increasingly recognize the need for the scientific community to improve communication and knowledge exchange across disciplines to address pressing and outstanding research questions holistically. Our professional paths have crossed because our research activities focus on the chemical reactivity of Fe-containing minerals in air and water, and at the air-sea interface. (Photo)chemical reactions driven by Fe can take place at the surface of the particles/droplets or within the condensed phase. The extent and rates of these reactions are influenced by water content and biogeochemical activity ubiquitous in these systems. One of these reactions is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause damage to respiratory organs. Another is that the reactivity of Fe and organics in aerosol particles alter surficial physicochemical properties that impact aerosol-radiation and aerosol–cloud interactions. Also, upon deposition, aerosol particles influence ocean biogeochemical processes because micronutrients such as Fe or toxic elements such as copper become bioavailable. We provide a perspective on these topics and future research directions on the reactivity of Fe in atmospheric aerosol systems, from sources to short- and long-term impacts at the sinks with emphasis on needs to enhance the predictive power of atmospheric and ocean models.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts: Recent Review Articles, Atmospheric chemistry and Chemistry of Atmospheric Pollutants