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Images: DMS: The Climate Gas You've Never Heard Of

John Dacey, a biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was among the first scientists to investigate the role of dimethylsulfide in the environment and to measure how the gas is exchanged between Earth, ocean, organisms, and the atmosphere. (Photo By Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Dierdre Toole, a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has studied the production of  dimethylsulfide (DMS) by phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica (above) and in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda. Her research aims to reveal the gas's important impacts on the environment and Earth's climate. (Photo courtesy of Dierdre Toole, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Naomi Levine, a graduate student in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program, is studying a critical but little-known process called the "bacterial switch," by which a compound made by phytoplankton called  dimethylsulfonionpropionate (DMSP) can be broken up by bacteria in two different ways. Each route leads to different impacts on the environment.
(Photo courtesy of Naomi Levine, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A pair of wandering albatross sojourn briefly on land beetween long-distance flights over the ocean to forage. These great seabirds use their keen sense of smell to detect DMS in the air above dense patches of their plankton prey. (Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Nevitt, University of California, Davis)