While this source is expected to be small, it could have greater importance for specific regions given its location far from the more dominant continental sources. Zafirou and McFarland (1981) conducted measurements in the equatorial Pacific and found that nitrite photolysis may provide a source of NO from the ocean. Based on air-sea exchange models and the difference between [NO]ocean and [NO]air, several investigators derived a source strength of about 0.5 TgN/yr (Logan, 1983; Liu et al., 1983; Torres and Thompson, 1993). This value is highly uncertain, however, since the data from the equatorial Pacific represent a small sample from a more biologically productive region of the ocean.

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