Vernet Lab

The Ecology of

Polar Phytoplankton

Dr. Maria Vernet
Integrative Oceanography Division
Room 2123, Sverdrup Hall
Phone: (858) 534-5322
Fax: (858) 822-0562

August 18, 2017 | Not Logged In (public login | local login)

§ Research Projects » Carbon Bridge

Bridging marine productivity regimes: How Atlantic advective inflow affects productivity, carbon cycling and export in a melting Arctic Ocean (CARBON BRIDGE) - (1 March 2015 – 31 August 2017) Principal Investigators: Prof. Marit Reigstad (Lead PI) and Prof. Paul Wassmann, University of Tromsø, Norway.
Funded by the Polar Program under the Research Council of Norway, Grant # 226415

SUMMARY: CARBON BRIDGE addresses how the main driver of climate change, the Atlantic inflow, impact productivity and carbon cycling in an area where future projections identify potential substantial changes in productivity due to ice retreat. The project positions itself in the inflow of Atlantic water (AW) along the shelf break region and Arctic Ocean (AO) north of Svalbard. New knowledge on Arctic marine ecosystems will be obtained through a multidisciplinary Earth System Science (ESS) approach including the hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, geosphere and antroposphere. More specifically, we investigate how the hydrosphere (AW inflow, water column stability and vertical structure) and the cryosphere (influencing stratification, light) act as drivers for the biosphere through changes in productivity and flow of energy through the so-called classical and microbial foodwebs, and consequences for vertical carbon export. Productivity during the last 300 to 400 years will be addressed through sediment cores, which are past accumulations in the geosphere. The fate of primary production is a key to understand the role of the warming AO as CO2 sink or link through carbon export, alkalinity and ocean-atmosphere exchange. Integrated data obtained in CARBON BRIDGE will be used for improved future projections of productivity to identify high- or low productive regions, and evaluate the ecosystem services and the value of the region for the antroposphere. This new knowledge will be highly relevant for management and risk assessment necessary for future activities. CARBON BRIDGE will contribute to increased understanding of physical-biological coupled processes, built around long term observational data and physical-biological coupled modelling, to better evaluate the present state, and future perspectives of ecosystem functioning and carbon cycling.