Falkor FK161010

The project was the first dedicated multidisciplinary research cruise to increase our understanding of the significance and role of the air-sea interface (sea surface microlayer, SML) as the boundary layer controlling atmosphere-ocean interactions. The overall objective of this proposal was to gain a detailed and mechanistic understanding of the link between interfacial processes at the sea surface and marine biogeochemical cycles, air-sea interactions and climate. The SML, the interfacial boundary layer between the ocean and atmosphere (typically 40-100 μm thick), has been widely ignored by past and current research efforts, although influence of the SML in air-sea interaction has been known for several decades. Our project has interlinked (i) exchange of bio-limiting trace elements and organic compounds between the atmosphere and the sea surface, (ii) technological advancement of in situ techniques to characterize sea surfaces, (iii) new parameterization for air-sea exchange of climate-relevant gases and heat, and (iv) the sea surface as a habitat for complex microbial communities. The project used coordinated observations and analysis utilizing a number of state-of-the-art technologies. Through an integrated approach that has been executed by an international multidisciplinary team, this study has widespread and significant impact on the science of marine biogeochemistry and climate related processes at a global scale.

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