Fassbender, A.J., C.L. Sabine, and M.F. Cronin (2016): Net community production and calcification from 7 years of NOAA Station Papa Mooring measurements. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 30, doi:10.1002/2015GB005205.
Ocean Climate Station Papa is a time series site located in the eastern subarctic Pacific where atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean. A moored buoy has been measuring the carbon content of both the surface ocean and surface atmosphere, along with numerous other oceanic and meteorological parameters, at this site for approximately 9 years. This area is notorious for having consistently low chlorophyll levels (a proxy for marine algae) and high concentrations of organisms that make hard shells out of calcium carbonate, commonly referred to as calcifiers, providing an interesting case study for evaluating what drives the ocean carbon absorption. Using the buoy data in addition to nearby observations from research cruises, satellites, and robotic gliders, we evaluated how near surface water processes influence the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon over the seasonal cycle and quantified how much carbon is taken up by marine algae and calcifiers and transported to the ocean interior away from the atmosphere. Our results show that there is significant seasonality to these biological processes, which can complicate evaluations on timescales shorter than one year. These findings exemplify the need for continuous monitoring of surface ocean carbon cycling to accurately assess the role of physics, chemistry, and biology.
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