Seasonal algae plays critical role in North Pacific carbon uptake

Jun 18, 2012

The role of the North Pacific Ocean as a net carbon sink may prove to be more precarious than previously thought as researchers work to isolate the contributions of biological and physical processes to air-sea gas exchange. Scientists have long known that physical processes, such as the seasonally changing solubility of carbon dioxide in seawater, combine with a biological pump driven by seasonal shifts in phytoplankton growth to control the carbon dioxide flux in the region.

A dearth of on-site evidence regarding biological pump function, however, has prevented researchers from assessing the relative importance of either mechanism to known rates. From data collected during four cruises from 2003 to 2008, Juranek et al. determined the strength of the biological pump, finding that for the northern Pacific Ocean it was strong enough to counteract solubility induced outgassing in summer, turning a net source region into a carbon sink.

The North Pacific is split into three sections: an anticyclonic subtropical gyre, a cyclonic subarctic gyre, and a transition zone sandwiched between. Superimposed on these largely stationary features, the transition zone chlorophyll front (TZCF) travels from 30 degrees North in winter to 40 degrees North in summer. Using dissolved gas concentration and isotope ratio detections, of chlorophyll concentrations, and other data sources, the authors map the oxygen and carbon dioxide budgets of the different North Pacific regions. They find that in the TZCF, was 2-4 times higher than in adjacent regions. This spike was driven by the confluence of enhanced ocean mixing, increased nutrient availability, and a change in the TZCF's algal ecosystem composition.

Owing to the newly realized power of the biological pump, the authors suggest that understanding how North Pacific algal populations could be affected by or is a pressing concern.

Explore further: Citizen scientists saving lives around deadly 'Throat of Fire' volcano

More information: Biological production in the NE Pacific and its influence on air-sea CO2 flux: Evidence from dissolved oxygen isotopes and O2/Ar, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, doi:10.1029/2011JC007450 , 2012.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

North Sea efficient sink for carbon dioxide

Oct 10, 2005

A relatively large number of algae grow in the North Sea. These form the basis for a much richer food chain than that found in the Atlantic Ocean. Dutch-sponsored researcher Yann Bozec calculated that coastal seas such as ...

Ocean's color affects hurricane paths

Aug 13, 2010

A change in the color of ocean waters could have a drastic effect on the prevalence of hurricanes, new research indicates. In a simulation of such a change in one region of the North Pacific, the study finds that hurricane ...

Recommended for you

NASA sees Tropical Storm Karina get a boost

18 hours ago

NASA's TRMM satellite saw Tropical Storm Karina get a boost on August 22 in the form of some moderate rainfall and towering thunderstorms in the center of the storm.

User comments : 10

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Howhot
4 / 5 (4) Jun 21, 2012
This article just points to importance of science keeping track of the health of the oceans under stress from man made global warming. Understanding the response of the Earth's bio-systems to human created environmental conditions is extremely important for predicting mankind's health.
PussyCat_Eyes
1.5 / 5 (8) Jun 21, 2012
Well, it was important in any case to keep track of the health of the oceans because that is where we get most of our sea food. All sea life should be monitored and their health and numbers recorded, whenever possible. It's just sensible and good animal husbandry. Fish dying in some areas need scientists to find out why and try to relieve the problem. If the fish are thriving in the oceans in spite of global warming, they would have adapted to it. But if too many deep-sea fish die, then it's a clear signal that they're also being affected. Right now, the problem is overfishing and that's got to stop.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (14) Jun 21, 2012
It's just sensible and good animal husbandry.
'a. The act or practice of cultivating crops and breeding and raising livestock; agriculture.'

Ritchie/pirouette/russkiye/pussy/et al thinks it is just sensible and good posting practice to drop technical-sounding words like husbandry or lost-wax because it informs people that r/p/r/p/e knows what they are talking about.

Like I say nobody is this arrogantly, carelessly dumb unless by intent. You are a hoax arent you?
PussyCat_Eyes
1 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2012
Blotto.....you're wrong again as usual...animal husbandry is also about whales, dolphins, cuttlefish, sea urchins, jellyfish....all of life in the oceans....they're all animals, don't you know that? There's also livestock in the oceans...but not the 4 legged kind.
You can claim all kinds of things about me, but that doesn't make it true. I know you're crazy about me...or else just plain crazy....LOL smoochers to you too
I'll say what I want and you can't do a thing about it.
Verstehen sie?
PussyCat_Eyes
1 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2012
I have never said anything about "lost wax", dear...YOU'RE the one who mentioned wax and gold to me, don't you remember? And I answered you, "are you serious?"
Do you honestly think I have such knowledge of losing wax? Not me, babe. Go look for someone else.
PussyCat_Eyes
1 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2012
See that, Blotto? You never even bothered to look it up first. The words "animal husbandry" rang your chimes, for some reason. You and I both know that you would like to have everyone believe that you know everything there is to know. But there's a lot of things you DON'T know, sweetie.
So here's some links for you to eat up about animal husbandry....enjoy them.

http://www.mun.ca...ndry.php

http://www.marine...release/

http://thewinterd...sbandry/
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (14) Jun 21, 2012
There's also livestock in the oceans...but not the 4 legged kind.
"Livestock: Domestic animals, such as cattle or horses, raised for home use or for profit, especially on a farm."

I just got a PM from ritchie/pussy:
"So what is the REAL reason why you keep coming after me? Is it that you would like to make love to me. If I gave you my picture, you would probably cum all over yourself."

-Sorry I dont like lying imbeciles. What kind of person is it that actually enjoys posting nonsense to elicit abuse?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (14) Jun 21, 2012
Re: from your 3rd link Marine Mammal Husbandry"

"The author (me, Jenna) get all smooshed up with Whisper the beluga whale at SeaWorld San Antonio on August 10th, 2010.
I am a psychology major at Nashua Community College in Nashua, NH."

-Apparently young psychology majors, like fake nurses, do not know how to look up words before using them improperly. So I will post the def again:

"Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock."
PussyCat_Eyes
1 / 5 (3) Jun 21, 2012
And you're wrong again....animal husbandry is NOT limited just to land animals. There were more links about marine animal husbandry, but I thought maybe 3 were enough. Apparently I was wrong.
I will look for more when I have the time.
Now shooo...go away.
PussyCat_Eyes
1 / 5 (3) Jun 21, 2012
Here's the link to about 10 pages for "marine animal husbandry". You might learn something.
I don't know any fake nurses.....is there one in your family?