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The ocean reservoir of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is among the largest global reservoirs (~700 Pg C) of reactive organic carbon. Marine primary production (~50 Pg C/yr) by photosynthetic microalgae and cyanobacteria is the major source of organic matter to the ocean and the principal substrate supporting marine food webs. The direct release of DOM from phytoplankton and other organisms as well as a variety of other processes, such as predation and viral lysis, contribute to the ocean DOM reservoir. Continental runoff and atmospheric deposition are relatively minor sources of DOM to the ocean, but some components of this material appear to be resistant to decomposition and to have a long residence time in the ocean. Concentrations of DOM are highest in surface waters and decrease with depth, a pattern that reflects the sources and diagenesis of DOM in the upper ocean. Most (70-80%) marine DOM exists as small molecules of low molecular weight (1 kDalton) DOM is relatively enriched in major biochemicals, such as combined neutral sugars and amino acids, and is more bioavailable than low-molecular-weight DOM. The observed relationships among the size, composition, and reactivity of DOM have led to the size-reactivity continuum model, which postulates that diagenetic processes lead to the production of smaller molecules that are structurally altered and resistant to microbial degradation. The radiocarbon content of these small dissolved molecules also indicates these are the most highly aged components of DOM. Chemical signatures of bacteria are abundant in DOM and increase during diagenesis, indicating bacteria are an important source of slowly cycling biochemicals. Recent analyses of DOM isolates by ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry have revealed an incredibly diverse mixture of molecules. Carboxyl-rich alicyclic molecules are abundant in DOM, and they appear to be derived from diagenetically
The search for organic carbon at the surface of Mars, as clues of past habitability or remnants of life, is a major science goal of Mars' exploration. Understanding the chemical evolution of organic molecules under current martian environmental conditions is essential to support the analyses performed in situ. What molecule can be preserved? What is the timescale of organic evolution at the surface? This paper presents the results of laboratory investigations dedicated to monitor the evolution of organic molecules when submitted to simulated Mars surface ultraviolet radiation (190-400 nm), mean temperature (218 ± 2 K) and pressure (6 ± 1 mbar) conditions. Experiments are done with the MOMIE simulation setup (for Mars Organic Molecules Irradiation and Evolution) allowing both a qualitative and quantitative characterization of the evolution the tested molecules undergo (Poch, O. et al. . Planet. Space Sci. 85, 188-197). The chemical structures of the solid products and the kinetic parameters of the photoreaction (photolysis rate, half-life and quantum efficiency of photodecomposition) are determined for glycine, urea, adenine and chrysene. Mellitic trianhydride is also studied in order to complete a previous study done with mellitic acid (Stalport, F., Coll, P., Szopa, C., Raulin, F. . Astrobiology 9, 543-549), by studying the evolution of mellitic trianhydride. The results show that solid layers of the studied molecules have half-lives of 10-103 h at the surface of Mars, when exposed directly to martian UV radiation. However, organic layers having aromatic moieties and reactive chemical groups, as adenine and mellitic acid, lead to the formation of photoresistant solid residues, probably of macromolecular nature, which could exhibit a longer photostability. Such solid organic layers are found in micrometeorites or could have been formed endogenously on Mars. Finally, the quantum efficiencies of photodecomposition at wavelengths from 200 to 250 nm
How complex carbonaceous molecules in space are, what their abundance is and on what timescales they form are crucial questions within cosmochemistry. Despite the large heterogeneity of galactic and interstellar regions the organic chemistry in the universe seems to follow common pathways. The largest fraction of carbon in the universe is incorporated into aromatic molecules (gaseous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon as well as solid macromolecular aromatic structures). Macromolecular carbon constitutes more than half of the interstellar carbon, approximately 80% of the carbon in meteorites, and is likely to be present in comets. Molecules of high astrobiological relevance such as N-heterocycles, amino acids and pre-sugars have all been identified in trace quantities (ppb) in extracts of carbonaceous meteorites. Their presence in inter- and circumstellar regions is either unknown or contentious. In any event such fragile species are easily destroyed by UV radiation, shocks and thermal processing and are unlikely to survive incorporation into Solar System material without some degradation. The more refractory material, in particular macromolecular carbon may retain an interstellar heritage more faithfully. We present laboratory measurements on the photostability of organic compounds and discuss their survival in regions with elevated UV radiation. We also show recent observations of diffuse interstellar bands indicating the presence of fullerenes. We investigate the link between the carbon chemistry in interstellar space and in the Solar System by analyzing the carbonaceous fraction of meteorites and by reviewing stable isotopic data. It also seems evident that both volatile and refractory material from carbonaceous meteoritic has been substantially altered owing to thermal and aqueous processing within the Solar System.
Secondary organic aerosol (SOA), formed from in-air oxidation of volatile organic compounds, greatly affects human health and climate. Although substantial research has been devoted to SOA formation and evolution, the modeled and lab-generated SOA are still low in mass and degree of oxidation compared to ambient measurements. In order to compensate for these discrepancies, the aqueous processing pathway has been brought to attention. The atmospheric waters serve as aqueous reaction media for dissolved organics to undergo further oxidation, oligomerization, or other functionalization reactions, which decreases the vapor pressure while increasing the oxidation state of carbon atoms. Field evidence for aqueous processing requires the identification of tracer products such as organosulfates. We synthesized the standards for two organosulfates, glycolic acid sulfate and lactic acid sulfate, in order to measure their aerosol-state concentration from five distinct locations via filter samples. The water-extracted filter samples were analyzed by LC-MS. Lactic acid sulfate and glycolic acid sulfate were detected in urban locations in the United States, Mexico City, and Pakistan with varied concentrations, indicating their potential as tracers. We studied the aqueous processing reaction between glyoxal and nitrogen-containing species such as ammonium and amines exclusively by NMR spectrometry. The reaction products formic acid and several imidazoles along with the quantified kinetics were reported. The brown carbon generated from these reactions were quantified optically by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The organic-phase reaction between oxygen molecule and alkenes photosensitized by alpha-dicarbonyls were studied in the same manner. We observed the fast kinetics transferring alkenes to epoxides under simulated sunlight. Statistical estimations indicate a very effective conversion of aerosol-phase alkenes to epoxides, potentially forming organosulfates in a deliquescence event and
Solar energetic particle (SEP) elemental abundance data from the cosmic ray subsystem (CRS) aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are used to derive unfractionated coronal and photospheric abundances for elements with 3 Z or = 30. It is found that the ionic charge-to-mass ratio (Q/M) is the principal organizing parameter for the fractionation of SEPs by acceleration and propagation processes and for flare-to-flare variability, making possible a single-parameter Q/M-dependent correction to the average SEP abundances to obtain unfractionated coronal abundances. A further correction based on first ionization potential allows the determination of unfractionated photospheric abundances.
Solar energetic particle (SEP) elemental abundance data from the cosmic ray subsystem (CRS) aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are used to derive unfractionated coronal and photospheric abundances for elements with Z = 6-30. It is found that the ionic charge-to-mass ratio (Q/M) is the principal organizing parameter for the fractionation of SEPs by acceleration and propagation processes and for flare-to-flare variability, making possible a single-parameter Q/M-dependent correction to the average SEP abundances to obtain unfractionated coronal abundances. A further correction based on first ionization potential allows the determination of unfractionated photospheric abundances.
Solar energetic particle (SEP) elemental abundance data from the Cosmic Ray Subsystem (CRS) aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are used to derive unfractionated coronal and photospheric abundances for elements with 3 = or Z or = 30. The ionic charge-to-mass ratio (Q/M) is the principal organizing parameter for the fractionation of SEPs by acceleration and propagation processes and for flare-to-flare variability, making possible a single-parameter Q/M-dependent correction to the average SEP abundances to obtain unfractionated coronal abundances. A further correction based on first ionization potential allows the determination of unfractionated photospheric abundances. 2b1af7f3a8