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Efficient dissolved organic carbon production and export in the oligotrophic ocean
Roshan, S.; DeVries, T. (2017). Efficient dissolved organic carbon production and export in the oligotrophic ocean. Nature Comm. 8(1): 8 pp. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/s41467-017-02227-3
In: Nature Communications. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2041-1723; e-ISSN 2041-1723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Roshan, S.
  • DeVries, T.

Abstract
    Biologically fixed carbon is transferred from the surface to deep ocean as sinking particles or dissolved organic carbon (DOC). DOC is estimated to account for ~20% of global export production, but the degree to which this varies regionally has not been assessed at a global scale. Here we present the first observationally based global-scale assessment of DOC production and export, obtained by combining an artificial neural network estimate of the global DOC distribution, and a data-constrained ocean circulation model. Our results demonstrate that the efficiency of DOC production and export varies more than threefold across oceanographic regions. DOC production and export display a pronounced peak in the oligotrophic subtropical oceans, where DOC accounts for roughly half of the total organic carbon export. These stratified nutrient-depleted regions are expected to expand with future warming, amplifying the role of DOC in the biological pump, and magnifying the need to improve DOC cycling in climate models.

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