The Atmosphere & Biology in theArctic (Paty Matrai)

Video Shot in: 2009

Dr. Paty Matrai emphasizes the vital role of the atmosphere in sustaining life and its interconnectedness with the ocean and ice. She explains that air-sea interactions are tightly coupled, with nutrients transferring from the air to the water and sea spray containing organic compounds affecting atmospheric chemistry. In the high Arctic, aerosols, which are particles in the air, have predominantly organic compositions derived from the ocean’s surface. These aerosols play a significant role in cloud formation, as cloud droplets require particles on which to condense. Changes in the organic composition can impact the number, size, and chemistry of aerosol particles, influencing cloud properties and sunlight reflection. This, in turn, affects the ocean’s temperature, ice melting, and broader climate dynamics. Dr. Matrai’s research focuses on connecting the biology of the ocean surface to cloud formation, radiation, and the global climate system, highlighting the significance of her work in a broader context.