Each spring, increasing sunlight and associated changes in the ocean structure trigger rapid growth of phytoplankton across most of the North Atlantic Ocean north of 30°N. The bloom, one of the largest in the world, is a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide and a prototype for similar blooms around the world. Models of the ocean carbon cycle, a necessary component of climate models, need to accurately reproduce the biological, chemical, and physical processes occurring during these blooms. However, a paucity of detailed observations severely limits efforts to evaluate such models.
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