People > Dr Tom Bell

Dr Tom Bell

Senior Scientist

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Dr Tom Bell has been at PML since January 2013. He is interested in the importance of the surface ocean and overlying atmosphere within the global climate system.  Specifically, his multidisciplinary research focuses on understanding the biogeochemical cycling of climatically-important trace gases and the factors affecting their air/sea exchange.

His work has involved: multidisciplinary methods to measure the chemistry and biology of the open ocean and marine atmosphere; empirical modelling approaches to predict trace gas distributions; the collation of large-scale datasets as tools for assessing global air/sea gas products; and experimental/theoretical studies of the factors driving air/ sea gas fluxes.



Atmospheric Composition and Radiative forcing changes due to UN International Ship Emissions regulations (ACRUISE)

Contact: Dr Ming-Xi Yang

Ship emissions are significant sources of polluting aerosols in coastal regions, causing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths per year...


Atlantic Meridional Transect Ocean Flux from Satellite Campaign (AMT4OceanSatFlux)

Contact: Dr Gavin Tilstone

The AMT4OceanSatFlux project will measure the flux of carbon dioxide (CO2) between the atmosphere and the ocean utilising a state-of-the-art eddy...

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Other key projects

NERC Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry studentship studying the effects of near surface ocean gradients upon shelf sea air/sea gas exchange estimates

Recent publications

  • Behrenfeld, MJ; Moore, RH; Hostetler, CA; Graff, J; Gaube, P; Russell, LM; Chen, G; Doney, SC; Giovannoni, S; Liu, H; Proctor, C; Bolaños, LM; Baetge, N; Davie-Martin, C; Westberry, TK; Bates, TS; Bell, TG; Bidle, KD; Boss, ES; Brooks, SD; Cairns, B; Carlson, C; Halsey, K; Harvey, EL; Hu, C; Karp-Boss, L; Kleb, M; Menden-Deuer, S; Morison, F; Quinn, PK; Scarino, AJ; Anderson, B; Chowdhary, J; Crosbie, E; Ferrare, R; Hair, JW; Hu, Y; Janz, S; Redemann, J; Saltzman, E; Shook, M; Siegel, DA; Wisthaler, A; Martin, MY; Ziemba, L. 2019 The North Atlantic Aerosol and Marine Ecosystem Study (NAAMES): Science Motive and Mission Overview. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6.
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  • Yang, M; Bell, TG; Brown, IJ; Fishwick, J; Kitidis, V; Nightingale, PD; Rees, AP; Smyth, TJ. 2019 Insights from year-long measurements of air–water CH4 and CO2 exchange in a coastal environment. Biogeosciences, 16 (5). 961-978.
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  • Sommariva, R; Hollis, LDJ; Sherwen, T; Baker, AR; Ball, SM; Bandy, BJ; Bell, TG; Chowdhury, M; Cordell, R; Evans, M; Lee, JD; Reed, C; Reeves, CE; Roberts, JM; Yang, M; Monks, PS. 2018 Seasonal and geographical variability of nitryl chloride and its precursors in Northern Europe. Atmospheric Science Letters, 19 (8). e844.
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  • Smith, MJ; Walker, CF; Bell, TG; Harvey, MJ; Saltzman, ES; Law, CS. 2018 Gradient flux measurements of sea–air DMS transfer during the Surface Ocean Aerosol Production (SOAP) experiment. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18 (8). 5861-5877.
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  • Landwehr, S; Miller, SD; Smith, MJ; Bell, TG; Saltzman, ES; Ward, B. 2018 Using eddy covariance to measure the dependence of air–sea CO2 exchange rate on friction velocity. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18 (6). 4297-4315.
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  • Steinke, M; Hodapp, B; Subhan, R; Bell, TG; Martin-Creuzburg, D. 2018 Flux of the biogenic volatiles isoprene and dimethyl sulfide from an oligotrophic lake. Scientific Reports, 8 (1).
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Selected key publications

Royer, S.-J., Galí, M., Saltzman, E. S., McCormick, C. A., Bell, T. G., and Simó, R. (2014) Development and validation of a shipboard system for measuring high-resolution vertical profiles of aqueous dimethylsulfide concentrations using chemical ionisation mass spectrometry, Environmental Chemistry, 11, 309-317,

Garcon, V., Bell, T.G. et al. Chapter 5: Perspectives and Integration in SOLAS science. In Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions of Gases and Particles (Eds. Liss, P.S. and Johnson, M.T.), Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-25642-4, pp 247-306.

Baker, A.R., Adams, C., Bell, T.G. and Jickells, T. (2013) Estimation of atmospheric nutrient inputs to the Atlantic Ocean from 50°N to 50 °S based on large-scale field sampling: II. Iron and other trace metals. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 27: 755-767. doi: 10.1002/gbc.20062

Bell, T.G., De Bruyn, W., Miller, S.D., Ward, B., Christensen, K. and Saltzman, E.S. (2013) Air/sea DMS gas transfer in the North Atlantic: evidence for limited interfacial gas exchange at high wind speed. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11073-11087. doi:10.5194/acp-13-11073-2013

Ziska, F., Quack, B., Abrahamsson, K., Archer, S. D., Atlas, E., Bell, T.G., Butler, J. H., Carpenter, L. J., Jones, C. E., Harris, N. R. P., Hepach, H., Heumann, K. G., Hughes, C., Kuss, J., Krüger, K., Liss, P., Moore, R. M., Orlikowska, A., Raimund, S., Reeves, C. E., Reifenhäuser, W., Robinson, A. D., Schall, C., Tanhua, T., Tegtmeier, S., Turner, S., Wang, L., Wallace, D., Williams, J., Yamamoto, H., Yvon-Lewis, S. and Yokouchi, Y. (2013) : Global sea-to-air flux climatology for bromoform, dibromomethane and methyl iodide, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 8915-8934. doi:10.5194/acp-13-8915-2013.

Miles, C.J., Bell, T.G. and Suntharalingam, P. (2012) Investigating the inter-relationships between water attenuated irradiance, primary production and DMS(P). Biogeochemistry, 110(1-3): 201-213. doi:10.1007/s10533-011-9697-5.

Franklin, D., Airs, R.L., Fernandes, M., Bell, T.G., Bongaerts, R.J., Berges, J.A. and Malin, G. (2012) Identification of senescence and death in Emiliania huxleyi and Thalassiosira pseudonana:   Live/dead stains, chlorophyll alterations and dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) release.  Limnology and Oceanography, 57(1): 305-317. doi:10.4319/lo.2012.57.1.0305

Bell, T.G., Malin, G., Lee, G.A., Stefels, J., Archer, S., Steinke, M. and Matrai, P. (2012) Global oceanic DMS data inter-comparability. Biogeochemistry, 110(1-3): 147-161. doi:10.1007/s10533-011-9662-3.

Johnson, M.T., Hughes, C., Bell, T.G. and Liss, P.S. (2011) A Rumsfeldian analysis of uncertainty in air-sea gas exchange.  In Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces 2010. Komori, S. McGillis, W. and R. Kurose (Eds), Kyoto University Press, Kyoto, Japan.

Lana A., Bell, T.G., Simó, R., Vallina, S.M., Ballabrera-Poy, J., Kettle, A.J., Dachs, J., Bopp, L., Saltzman, E.S., Stefels, J., Johnson, J.E. and Liss, P.S. (2011). An updated climatology of surface dimethlysulfide concentrations and emission fluxes in the global ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25, art. no.-GB1004. doi:10.1029/2010GB003850.

Halloran, P.R., Bell, T.G. and Totterdell, I.J. (2010) Can we trust simple marine DMS parameterisations within complex climate models? Biogeosciences, 7, 1645-1656. doi:10.5194/bg-7-1645-2010

Bell, T.G., Poulton, A. and Malin, G. (2010) Strong links between phytoplankton community physiology and dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) concentrations in the sub-tropical/tropical Atlantic. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 24, art. no.-GB3009. doi:10.1029/2009GB003617

Butler, J.H., Bell, T.G., Hall, B.D., Quack, B., Carpenter, L.J. and Williams, J. (2010) Technical Note: Ensuring consistent, global measurements of short-lived halocarbon gases in the ocean and atmosphere, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, 327-330. doi:10.5194/acp-10-327-2010

Miles, C.J., Bell, T.G. and Lenton, T.M. (2009) Testing the relationship between the solar radiation dose and surface DMS concentrations using high resolution in situ data. Biogeosciences, 6(9): 1927-1934. doi:10.5194/bg-7-1645-2010

Bange, H., Bell, T.G., Cornejo, M., Freing, A., Uher, G., Upstill-Goddard, R. and Zhang, G. (2009) A plea for contributions to a database of oceanic and coastal nitrous oxide and methane measurements, Environmental Chemistry, 6(3), 195-197. doi:10.1071/EN09033

Bell, T.G., Johnson, M.T., Jickells, T.D., Liss, P.S., 2008. Corrigendum to: Ammonia/ammonium dissociation coefficient in seawater: A significant numerical correction. Environmental Chemistry, 5(3), 258-258. doi:10.1071/EN07032_CO

Suratman, S., Weston, K., Jickells, T., Chance, R. and Bell, T.G., 2008. Dissolved organic matter release by an axenic culture of Emiliania huxleyi. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 88(7): 1343-1346. doi:10.1017/S0025315408002026

Johnson, M.T., Bell, T.G., 2008. Coupling between dimethylsulfide emissions and the ocean-atmosphere exchange of ammonia. Environmental Chemistry, 5(4), 259-267. doi:10.1071/EN08030

Johnson, M.T., Liss, P.S., Bell, T.G., Lesworth, T.J., Baker, A.R., Hind, A.J., Jickells, T.D., Biswas, K.F., Woodward, E.M.S., Gibb, S.W., 2008. Field observations of the ocean-atmosphere exchange of ammonia: Fundamental importance of temperature as revealed by a comparison of high and low latitudes. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22(1), art. no.-GB1019. doi:10.1029/2007GB003039

Bell, T.G., Johnson, M.T., Jickells, T.D. and Liss, P.S. 2007. Ammonia/ammonium dissociation coefficient in seawater: A significant numerical correction. Env. Chem. 4(3): 183-186. doi:10.1071/EN07032

Bell, T.G., Malin, G., Kim, Y.N. and Steinke, M. 2007. Spatial variability in DMSP-lyase activity along an Atlantic meridional transect. Aquatic Sciences. 69(3): 320-329. doi:10.1007/s00027-007-0894-1

Bell, T.G., Malin, G., McKee, C.M. and Liss, P.S. 2006. A comparison of dimethylsulphide (DMS) data from the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme with proposed algorithms for global surface DMS concentrations. Deep-Sea Res. II.  53(14-16): 1720-1735. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.05.013

Other activities

UK representative for the international Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) programme