($65,532 over 3 years, awarded 2001, completed June 2004)
This project examined nitrous oxide concentrations that are showing a long-term atmospheric increase. One of its sources is the ocean, where it is produced by microbial processes. A major problem in the detailed study of nitrous oxide in the ocean is that it is not easy to separate the production and loss processes, so that measurement can normally provide only the net result of both types of process. This project helped in that separation and assisted in building knowledge about the oceans’ impacts on concentrations of the chemical. A key result was determining the upper limits and how ocean processes affect the concentrations. The ultimate result was to separating and quantifying the kinetics of nitrogen oxide consumption and production in the upper ocean.