The bubbles underneath breaking waves: what they do, why we care and whether it matters
The bubbles that form underneath breaking waves are an important feature of the ocean surface. They alter the acoustics and optics of the upper ocean, increase air-sea gas transfer rates and are a significant source of aerosol particles. This talk will present data on the details of bubble plume composition and structure from a recent research cruise in the North Atlantic. I’ll discuss our progress towards understanding the specific mechanisms by which bubbles contribute to CO2 and O2 transfer, the link between whitecaps and subsurface bubble plumes, and the gaps in understanding that still remain.