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On the vertical phytoplankton response to an ice free Arctic Ocean

Lawrence, J.; Popova, E.; Yool, A.; Srokosz, M.. 2015 On the vertical phytoplankton response to an ice free Arctic Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120 (12). 8571-8582. 10.1002/2015JC011180

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AGU Publisher statement: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. © (20xx) American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted. doi.org/10.1002/2015JC011180
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Abstract/Summary

Rapidly retreating sea ice is expected to influence future phytoplankton production in the Arctic Ocean by perturbing nutrient and light fields, but poor understanding of present phytoplankton distributions and governing mechanisms make projected changes highly uncertain. Here we use a simulation that reproduces observed seasonal phytoplankton chlorophyll distributions and annual nitrate to hypothesize that surface nitrate limitation in the Arctic Ocean deepens vertical production distributions where light-dependent growth rates are lower. We extend this to interpret depth-integrated production changes projected by the simulation for an ice-free Arctic Ocean. Future spatial changes correspond to patterns of reduced surface nitrate and increased light. Surface nitrate inventory reductions in the Beaufort Gyre and Atlantic inflow waters drive colocated production distributions deeper to where light is lower, offsetting increases in light over the water column due to reduced ice cover and thickness. Modest production increases arise, 10% in a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean and increasing to 30% by the end of the century, occurring at depth.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2015JC011180
ISSN: 21699275
Additional Keywords: Arctic; ocean;production; phytoplankton; ice-free; modeling
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 05 Jan 2016 09:29 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/512549

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