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Keywords:

  • biological pump;
  • Southern Ocean;
  • carbon export

The Southern Ocean is a major source of gas exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean, accounting for almost 20% of global ocean carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake. Phytoplankton fix CO2, converting it to other carbon compounds, and some of this biogenic carbon sinks to the deeper ocean, where it is effectively removed from the atmosphere. Better understanding of the rate of export of carbon particulate matter from the upper ocean is key to improving uncertainties in models that include the Southern Ocean's role in the carbon cycle.