National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2006

Ocean carbon cycling in the Indian Ocean: II. Estimates of net community production

Bates, N.R., A.C. Pequignet, and C.L. Sabine

Global Biogeochem. Cy., 20(3), GB3021, doi: 10.1029/2005GB002492 (2006)

The spatiotemporal variability of ocean carbon cycling and air-sea CO exchange in the Indian Ocean was examined using inorganic carbon data collected as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) cruises in 1995. Several carbon mass balance approaches were used to estimate rates of net community production (NCP) in the Indian Ocean. Carbon transports into and out of the Indian Ocean were derived using mass transport estimates of Robbins and Toole (1997) and Schmitz (1996), and transoceanic hydrographic and TCO sections at 32°S and across the Indonesian Throughflow. The derived NCP rates of 749 ± 227 to 1572 ± 180 Tg C yr (0.75–1.57 Pg C yr) estimated by carbon mass balance were similar to new production rates (1100–1800 Tg C yr) determined for the Indian Ocean by a variety of other methods (Louanchi and Najjar, 2000; Gnanadesikan et al., 2002). Changes in carbon inventories of the surface layer were also used to evaluate the spatiotemporal patterns of NCP. Significant NCP occurred in all regions during the Northeast Monsoon and Spring Intermonsoon periods. During the Southwest Monsoon and Fall Intermonsoon periods, the trophic status appears to shift from net autotrophy to net heterotrophy, particularly in the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and 10°N to 10°S zones.

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