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.

Elusive protists transport large quantities of silica into the ocean interior

September 7, 2018

Phaeodaria are single-celled eukaryotes (a.k.a. protists) belonging to the supergroup Rhizaria. Like diatoms, phaeodarians build up skeletons made of opaline silica, but unlike their emblematic relatives, phaeodarians have been largely ignored in the marine silica cycle. In a recent study published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (also see related Research Spotlight in AGU Eos), authors used […]

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Ocean’s heat cycle shows that atmospheric carbon may be headed elsewhere

August 16, 2018

Studies over the past 25 years have supported the existence of a large net land biosphere CO2 sink of 0.5–2 PgC yr-1. Significant uncertainties remain, however, regarding the long-term partitioning between northern, tropical, and southern land sinks, in part connected to the uncertain ocean carbon sink. These uncertainties limit our capacity to predict earth system response to […]

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Shelf-wide pCO2 increase across the South Atlantic Bight

August 2, 2018

Relative to their surface area, coastal regions represent some of the largest carbon fluxes in the global ocean, driven by numerous physical, chemical and biological processes. Coastal systems also experience human impacts that affect carbon cycling, which has large socioeconomic implications. The highly dynamic nature of these systems necessitates observing approaches and numerical methods that […]

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Marine Snowfall at the Equator

July 19, 2018

The continual flow of organic particles such as dead organisms and fecal material towards the deep sea is called “marine snow,” and it plays an important role in the ocean carbon cycle and climate-related processes. This snowfall is most intense where high primary production can be observed near the surface. This is the case along […]

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Building ocean biogeochemistry observing capacity, one float at a time: An update on the Biogeochemical-Argo Program

July 5, 2018

By Ken Johnson (MBARI) The Biogeochemical-Argo (BGC-Argo) Program is an international effort to develop a global network of biogeochemical sensors on Argo profiling floats that has emerged from over a decade of community discussion and planning. While there is no formal funding for this global program, it is being implemented via a series of international […]

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Long-term coastal data sets reveal unifying relationship between oxygen and pH fluctuations

June 7, 2018

Coastal habitats are critically important to humans, but without consistent and reliable observations we cannot understand the direction and magnitude of unfolding changes in these habitats. Environmental monitoring is therefore a prescient—yet still undervalued—societal service, and no effort better exemplifies this than the work conducted within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). NERRS is […]

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Unexpected acidification of deep waters in the Sea of Japan due to global warming

May 22, 2018

Oceans worldwide are warming up, and thermohaline circulation is expected to slow down. At the same time, ocean acidity is increasing due to the influx of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, a phenomenon called ocean acidification that has primarily been documented in shallow waters. In general, deeper waters contain less anthropogenic CO2, but […]

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Sensitivity of future ocean acidification to carbon-climate feedbacks

May 10, 2018

There are vast unknowns about the future oceans, from what species or habitats may be most under threat to the continuity of earth system processes that maintain global climate. Modeling can be used to predict future states and explore the impacts of climate change, but several key uncertainties such as carbon-climate feedbacks hamper our predictive […]

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Hotspots of biological production: Submesoscale changes in respiration and production

April 26, 2018

The biological pump is complex and variable. To better understand it, scientists have often focused on variations in biological parameters such as fluorescence and community structure, and have less often observed variations in rates of production. Production rates can be estimated using oxygen as a tracer, since photosynthesis produces oxygen and respiration consumes it. In […]

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Feedbacks mitigate the impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the western North Atlantic

April 12, 2018

How do phytoplankton respond to atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the western North Atlantic, an area downwind of large agricultural and industrial centers? The biogeochemical impacts of this ‘fertilization’ remain unclear, as direct oceanic observations of atmospheric deposition are limited and models often cannot resolve the important processes. In a recent study, St-Laurent et al. (2017) […]

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