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Increasing biomass in the warm oceans: unexpected new insights from SeaWiFS

Sharma, Priya and Marinov, Irina and Cabre, Ana and Kostadinov, Tihomir and Singh, Awnesh M. (2019) Increasing biomass in the warm oceans: unexpected new insights from SeaWiFS. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (7). pp. 3900-3910. ISSN 0094-8276

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    Marine phytoplankton biomass and community structure are expected to change under global warming, with potentially significant impacts on ocean carbon, nutrient cycling, and marine food webs. Previous studies have indicated decreases of primary production and chlorophyll a concentrations and oligotrophic gyre expansions from satellite ocean‐color measurements, purportedly due to global warming. We review this topic via a reanalysis of a novel backscattering‐based phytoplankton functional type and phytoplankton biomass time series over the 1997–2010 period. Unlike previous work, we find that globally the biomass and the percent of large (small) phytoplankton increase (decrease). The oligotrophic gyres contract or expand depending on the chlorophyll a threshold definition employed. In the subtropical gyres, chlorophyll a trends are likely due to physiological changes, while the increasing biomass trends are due to winds and relevant mixing length scale increases.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: phytoplankton biomass and chlorophyll trends, size fractional phytoplankton, ENSO-driven biological variability
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
    G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Q Science > Q Science (General)
    Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
    Depositing User: Awnesh Singh
    Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 15:13
    Last Modified: 15 May 2019 09:44

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