OCB Science Highlights

OCB Science Highlights

If you would like to have your recent publications featured on the OCB website and eNewsletter please contact ocb_news@whoi.edu. View our guidelines for writing a OCB Science Highlight.

Quantifying coastal and marine ecosystem carbon storage potential for climate mitigation policy and management

June 21, 2017

Under the increasing threat of climate change, conservation practitioners and policy makers are seeking innovative and data–driven recommendations for mitigating emissions and increasing natural carbon sinks through nature-based solutions. While the ocean and terrestrial forests, and more recently, coastal wetlands, are well known carbon sinks, there is interest in exploring the carbon storage potential of […]

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Winter ventilation depth constrains the impact of the biological pump on CO2 uptake in the North Pacific Ocean

June 8, 2017

The North Pacific accounts for ~25% of the global ocean’s uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. However, the relative importance of the biological pump vs. physical circulation in driving ocean uptake of CO2 remains poorly understood. In a recent study, Palevsky and Quay (2017) used geochemical measurements collected on sixteen container ship transects […]

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Do rivers supply nutrients to the open ocean?

May 24, 2017

Rivers carry large amounts of nutrients (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus) to the sea, but we do not know how much of that riverine nutrient supply escapes biological and chemical processing in shallow coastal waters to reach the open ocean. Most global ocean biogeochemical models, which are typically unable to resolve coastal processes, assume that either […]

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Scientists reveal major drivers of aragonite saturation state in the Gulf of Maine, a region vulnerable to acidification

May 11, 2017

The Gulf of Maine (GoME) is a shelf region that is especially vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA). GoME’s shelf waters display the lowest mean pH, aragonite saturation state (Ω-Ar), and buffering capacity of the entire U.S. East Coast. These conditions are a product of many unique characteristics and processes occurring in the GoME, including relatively […]

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Biophysical drivers of vigorous carbon cycling near the Kuroshio Extension

April 27, 2017

The Kuroshio Current and its Extension jet in the western North Pacific Ocean form a dynamic western boundary current (WBC) region characterized by large air-sea exchanges of heat and carbon dioxide gas (CO2). The jet is known to oscillate between stable and meandering states on multi-year timescales that alter the eddy field and depth of […]

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Satellite Laser Lights Up Polar Research

April 13, 2017

What controls annual cycles and interannual changes in polar phytoplankton biomass? Answers to this question are now emerging from a satellite light detection and ranging (lidar) sensor, which can observe the polar oceans throughout the extensive periods when measurements from traditional passive ocean color sensors are impossible. The new study uses active lidar measurements from […]

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International team of researchers reports ocean acidification is spreading rapidly in the western Arctic Ocean

March 30, 2017

The Arctic Ocean is particularly sensitive to climate change and ocean acidification such that aragonite saturation state is expected to become undersaturated (Ωarag <1) there sooner than in other oceans. However, the extent and expansion rate of ocean acidification (OA) in this region are still unknown. In the March 2017 issue of Nature Climate Change, […]

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Reconciling fisheries catch and ocean productivity in a changing climate

March 16, 2017

Phytoplankton provide the energy that fuels marine food webs, yet differences in fisheries catch across global ecosystems far exceed accompanying differences in phytoplankton production. Nearly 50 years ago, John Ryther hypothesized that this contrast must arise from synergistic interactions between phytoplankton production and food webs. New perspectives on global fish catch, fishing effort, and a […]

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Oceanic fronts enhance carbon transport to the ocean’s interior through both subduction and amplified sinking

March 1, 2017

Mesoscale fronts are regions with potentially enhanced nutrient fluxes, phytoplankton production and biomass, and aggregation of mesozooplankton and higher trophic levels. However, the role of these features in transporting organic carbon to depth and hence sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere has not previously been determined. Working with the California Current Ecosystem Long Term Ecological Research […]

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OCB Joint Newsletter issue with US CLIVAR

February 16, 2017

A recent workshop co-sponsored by US CLIVAR, OCB, NOAA, PICES, and ICES, Forecasting ENSO impacts on marine ecosystems of the US West Coast, attempted to develop a framework for using ENSO forecasts from climate and statistical models in order to predict changes in key components of the marine ecosystem in the California Current System. Click […]

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