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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

The Southern Ocean exhibits a large range in values for chlorophyll and primary production and unresolved mechanisms that cause the ratio of export to primary production to vary by more than a factor of 3. Furthermore, NASA standard algorithms for chl-a tend to have a large underestimate bias which propagates through biogeochemical models. We propose to collect in situ data on AMLR cruises to the Southern Drake Passage, and continue synthesis of our 15 years of data with data collected by others, to improve satellite retrievals of chl-a, net primary production (NPP), net community production (NCP) and organic carbon export flux (EF) and to validate satellite retrievals. Our in situ data will include apparent and inherent optical properties required for ocean color satellite algorithm development and validation, phytoplankton community and size, biogenic and lithogenic minerals, DOC and POC, NPP, NCP and EF. To narrow the uncertainty in satellite estimates of EF we will test several hypotheses related to its large variance relative to chl-a or NPP: (i) ratios of scattering to absorption are an index of autotrophy:heterotrophy; (ii) the slope of the spectral backscattering is an index of the relative abundance of larger particles; (iii) mineral ballasting (biogenic and lithogenic) contributes to variations in EF:NPP. Satellite data will be used to generate time-series (>11 years) of chl-al, NPP and EF in the Southern Ocean. We will use the time-series to study spatio-temporal variability in plankton communities and to quantify rates of NPP and EF and their correlations with environmental forcing (ENSO, winds, sea ice, structure of the ACC). This analysis will include diverse satellite data types (ocean color, SST, winds, altimetry, sea ice). This work will establish a baseline of satellite time-series of EF and the biological pump that will be essential to separate natural climate variability from climate trends.

Project PI: Brian Mitchell/Scripps Institution of Oceanography

RIAN GREGORY MITCHELL SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPY UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA 92093-0218

Phone: (858)534-2687

Fax: (858)534-2997

Email: gmitchell@ucsd.edu

http://spg.ucsd.edu/people/Greg/Mitchell_CV.html

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010

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