OCB Science Highlights

OCB Science Highlights

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Partitioning carbon export into particulate and dissolved pools from biogeochemical profiling float observations

December 17, 2020

Carbon export from the surface into the deep ocean via the biological pump is a significant sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. The relative contributions of sinking particles—particulate organic carbon (POC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC)—to the total export affect the efficiency of carbon export. In a recent study published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, the authors […]

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How zooplankton control carbon export in the Southern Ocean

December 3, 2020

The Southern Ocean exhibits an inverse relationship between surface primary production and export flux out of the euphotic zone. The causes of this production-export decoupling are still under debate. A recently published mini review in Frontiers in Marine Science focused on zooplankton, an important component of Southern Ocean food webs and the biological pump. The […]

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Water clarity impacts temperature and biogeochemistry in Chesapeake Bay

December 3, 2020

Estuarine water clarity is determined by suspended materials in the water, including colored dissolved organic matter, phytoplankton, sediment, and detritus. These constituents directly affect temperature because when water is opaque, sunlight heats only the shallowest layers near the surface, but when water is clear, sunlight can penetrate deeper, warming the waters below the surface. Despite […]

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Tiny phytoplankton seen from space

November 19, 2020

Picophytoplankton, the smallest phytoplankton on Earth, are dominant in over half of the global surface ocean, growing in low-nutrient “ocean deserts” where diatoms and other large phytoplankton have difficult to thrive. Despite their small size, picophytoplankton collectively account for well over 50% of primary production in oligotrophic waters, thus playing a major role in sustaining […]

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A new Regional Earth System Model of the Mediterranean Sea biogeochemical dynamics

November 19, 2020

The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed mid-latitude oligotrophic basin with a lower net primary production than the global ocean. A west-east productivity trophic gradient results from the superposition of biogeochemical and physical processes, including the biological pump and associated carbon and nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus) fluxes, the spatial asymmetric distribution of nutrient sources (rivers, atmospheric deposition, […]

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Warming counteracts acidification in temperate crustose coralline algae communities

November 6, 2020

Seawater carbonate chemistry has been altered by dramatic increases in anthropogenic CO2 release and global temperatures, leading to significant changes in rocky shore habitats and the metabolism of most marine organisms. There has been recent interest in how these anthropogenic stresses affect crustose coralline algae (CCA) communities because CCA photosynthesis and calcification are directly influenced […]

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Timing matters: Correcting float-based measurements of diurnal oxygen variability

November 6, 2020

Despite its fundamental importance to the global carbon cycle, climate, and marine ecosystems, oceanic primary production is grossly under-sampled. Autonomous platforms represent an important frontier for expanding measurements of marine primary productivity in time and space, but this requires the establishment of robust, standardized methods to obtain reliable data from these platforms. Using data from […]

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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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