Data on the inorganic carbon system, the distribution of oxygen, nitrate, and phosphate, as well as particle sedimentation and plankton biomass collected from winter 1993 to summer 1996 in the central Greenland Sea show that although this area is a sink for atmospheric carbon throughout the year, relatively little of the carbon fixed by photosynthesis into organic compounds in the surface waters is eventually sequestered in deep waters. Rather, due to intensive biological remineralization of organic matter within the winter mixed layer, the bulk of carbon is retained in the upper few hundred meters of the water column. The sequestration of biogenic carbon is constrained by the depth of the winter mixed layer, in that deep winter mixing effectively increases the depth below which true export can occur. There is potential for increased export with increased rates of deep convection. Likewise, a reduction in heterotrophic recycling in near-surface waters may enhance the effectiveness of the biological pump. However, because of our still limited understanding of the interactions between the biological and solubility pumps in this region, the extent to which export may be enhanced is unclear.
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- Constraints on Carbon Drawdown and Export in the Greenland Sea
Thomas T. Noji
Lisa A. Miller
K. Yngve Børsheim
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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