OCB Science Highlights

OCB Science Highlights

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Austral summer vertical migration patterns in Antarctic zooplankton

October 15, 2020

Sunrise and sunset are the main cues driving zooplankton diel vertical migration (DVM) throughout the world’s oceans. These marine animals balance the trade-off between feeding in surface waters at night and avoiding predation during the day at depth. Near-constant daylight during polar summer was assumed to dampen these daily migrations. In a recent paper published […]

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Marine heatwave implications for future phytoplankton blooms

October 15, 2020

Ocean temperature extreme events such as marine heatwaves are expected to intensify in coming decades due to anthropogenic warming. Although the effects of marine heatwaves on large plants and animals are becoming well documented, little is known about how these warming events will impact microbes that regulate key biogeochemical processes such as ocean carbon uptake […]

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Chesapeake Bay acidification partially offset by submerged aquatic vegetation

September 30, 2020

Ocean acidification is often enhanced by eutrophication and subsequent hypoxia and anoxia in coastal waters, which collectively threaten marine organisms and ecosystems. Acidification is particularly of concern for organisms that form shells and skeletons from calcium carbonate (CaCO3) such as commercially important shellfish species. Given that CaCO3 mineral dissolution can increase the total alkalinity of […]

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Will global change “stress out” ocean DOC cycling?

September 29, 2020

The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) pool is vital for the functioning of marine ecosystems. DOC fuels marine food webs and is a cornerstone of the earth’s carbon cycle. As one of the largest pools of organic matter on the planet, disruptions to marine DOC cycling driven by climate and environmental global changes can impact air-sea […]

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Sea ice loss and the changing Arctic carbon cycle

September 18, 2020

Loss of Arctic Ocean ice cover is altering the carbon cycle in ways that are not well understood. Effectively “popping the top off” the Arctic Ocean, ice loss exposes the sea surface to warming and exchange of CO2 with the atmosphere. These processes are expected to increase CO2 levels in the Arctic Ocean, changing its […]

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Estuarine sediment resuspension drives non-local impacts on biogeochemistry

September 18, 2020

Sediment processes, including resuspension and transport, affect water quality in estuaries by altering light attenuation, primary productivity, and organic matter remineralization, which then influence oxygen and nitrogen dynamics. In a recent paper published in Estuaries and Coasts, the authors quantified the degree to which sediment resuspension and transport affected estuarine biogeochemistry by implementing a coupled […]

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The role of nutrient trapping in promoting shelf hypoxia in the southern Benguela upwelling system

September 3, 2020

The southern Benguela upwelling system (SBUS) off southwest Africa is an exceptionally fertile ocean region that supports valuable commercial fisheries. The productivity of this system derives from the upwelling of nutrient-rich Subantarctic Mode Water, and from the concurrent entrainment of nutrients regenerated proximately on the expansive continental shelf. The SBUS is prone to severe seasonal […]

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Profiling floats reveal fate of Southern Ocean phytoplankton stocks

September 1, 2020

More observations are needed to constrain the relative roles of physical (advection), biogeochemical (downward export), and ecological (grazing and biological losses) processes in driving the fate of phytoplankton blooms in Southern Ocean waters. In a recent paper published in Nature Communications, authors used seven Biogeochemical Argo (BGC-Argo) floats that vertically profiled the upper ocean every […]

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A close-up view of biomass controls in Southern Ocean eddies

August 20, 2020

Southern Ocean biological productivity is instrumental in regulating the global carbon cycle. Previous correlative studies associated widespread mesoscale activity with anomalous chlorophyll levels. However, eddies simultaneously modify both the physical and biogeochemical environments via several competing pathways, making it difficult to discern which mechanisms are responsible for the observed biological anomalies within them. Two recently […]

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Multiyear predictions of ocean acidification in the California Current System

August 20, 2020

The California Current System is a highly productive coastal upwelling region that supports commercial fisheries valued at $6 billion/year. These fisheries are supported by upwelled waters, which are rich in nutrients and serve as a natural fertilizer for phytoplankton. Due to remineralization of organic matter at depth, these upwelled waters also contain large amounts of […]

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