Enhanced role of eddies in the Arctic marine biological pump.

Nat Commun 2014 May 27;5:3950. Epub 2014 May 27.

1] Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0001, Japan [2] Hokkaido University, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan.

The future conditions of Arctic sea ice and marine ecosystems are of interest not only to climate scientists, but also to economic and governmental bodies. However, the lack of widespread, year-long biogeochemical observations remains an obstacle to understanding the complicated variability of the Arctic marine biological pump. Here we show an early winter maximum of sinking biogenic flux in the western Arctic Ocean and illustrate the importance of shelf-break eddies to biological pumping from wide shelves to adjacent deep basins using a combination of year-long mooring observations and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The sinking flux trapped in the present study included considerable fresh organic material with soft tissues and was an order of magnitude larger than previous estimates. We predict that further reductions in sea ice will promote the entry of Pacific-origin biological species into the Arctic basin and accelerate biogeochemical cycles connecting the Arctic and subarctic oceans.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4950DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055836PMC
May 2014
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