Glucose as a potential chemical marker for ice nucleating activity in Arctic seawater samples.

Astrid.Bracher [ at ]


Recent studies pointed to a high ice nucleating activity (INA) in the Arctic sea surface microlayer (SML). However, related chemical information is still sparse. In the present study, INA and free glucose concentrations were quantified in Arctic SML and bulk water samples from the marginal ice zone, the ice-free ocean, melt ponds, and open waters within the ice pack. T50 (defining INA) ranged from −17.4 to −26.8 °C. Glucose concentrations varied from 0.6 to 51 μg/L with highest values in the SML from the marginal ice zone and melt ponds (median 16.3 and 13.5 μg/L) and lower values in the SML from the ice pack and the ice-free ocean (median 3.9 and 4.0 μg/L). Enrichment factors between the SML and the bulk ranged from 0.4 to 17. A positive correlation was observed between free glucose concentration and INA in Arctic water samples (T50(°C) = (−25.6 ± 0.6) + (0.15 ± 0.04)·Glucose(μg/L), RP = 0.66, n = 74). Clustering water samples based on phytoplankton pigment composition resulted in robust but different correlations within the four clusters (RP between 0.67 and 0.96), indicating a strong link to phytoplankton-related processes. Since glucose did not show significant INA itself, free glucose may serve as a potential tracer for INA in Arctic water samples.

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DOI 10.1021/acs.est.9b01469.

Cite as
Zeppenfeld, S. , von Pnxteren, M. , Hartmann, M. , Bracher, A. , Stratmann, F. and Herrmann, H. (2019): Glucose as a potential chemical marker for ice nucleating activity in Arctic seawater samples. , Environmental Science & Technology, 53 , pp. 8747-8756 . doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01469.

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