Geophysical Research Letters

Ocean primary production and climate: Global decadal changes

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Abstract

[1] Satellite-in situ blended ocean chlorophyll records indicate that global ocean annual primary production has declined more than 6% since the early 1980's. Nearly 70% of the global decadal decline occurred in the high latitudes. In the northern high latitudes, these reductions in primary production corresponded with increases in sea surface temperature and decreases in atmospheric iron deposition to the oceans. In the Antarctic, the reductions were accompanied by increased wind stress. Three of four low latitude basins exhibited decadal increases in annual primary production. These results indicate that ocean photosynthetic uptake of carbon may be changing as a result of climatic changes and suggest major implications for the global carbon cycle.

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