Duration: 2 years (January 2020 until December 2021)
INSIST is funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It includes two middle Adriatic field work in May 2020 and winter 2021, where the German team join the Croatia team to measure three day-night cycles on the sea surface microlayer. The Croatia team will visit Wilhelmshaven twice for data analysis and discussion and to prepare a bigger EU project proposal.
The very uppermost layer of the ocean, the sea surface microlayer (SML), is a specific environment at the air-sea interface, whose fast changes of physico-chemical and biological properties are highly susceptible to an increasing human impact, anthropogenic pressure and climate change. The SML experiences higher levels of solar radiation compared to the bulk water. The solar radiation strongly influences the physiological capacities of the SML organisms and photochemical processing of marine organic material (OM). Thus, cycling of OM through the microbial loop at the sea surface will determine the OM accumulation and enrichments at the SML, which directly influences gas exchange rates as well as the chemical composition of aerosols released into the atmosphere. Given that the SML is involved in all ocean-atmosphere exchanges of mass and energy, its response to solar radiation, especially in relation to how it regulates the air-sea exchange of climate-relevant gases and aerosols, is surprisingly poorly characterised.
The main goal of the INSIST project is to understand the extent of diel changes in the coupling between meteorological forcing such as solar radiation, SML physico-chemical and biological properties, and the air-sea exchange of climate-relevant gases and aerosol particles at the coastal Mediterranean area.