Are phytoplankton blooms occurring earlier in the Arctic?
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Global Change Biology
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 1733–1739, April 2011
How to Cite
KAHRU, M., BROTAS, V., MANZANO-SARABIA, M. and MITCHELL, B. G. (2011), Are phytoplankton blooms occurring earlier in the Arctic?. Global Change Biology, 17: 1733–1739. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02312.x
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 AUG 2010 01:02PM EST
- Received 26 April 2010; revised version received 30 June 2010 and accepted 9 August 2010
- climate change;
- ocean color;
- phytoplankton blooms;
- remote sensing
Time series of satellite-derived surface chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl) in 1997–2009 were used to examine for trends in the timing of the annual phytoplankton bloom maximum. Significant trends towards earlier phytoplankton blooms were detected in about 11% of the area of the Arctic Ocean with valid Chl data, e.g. in the Hudson Bay, Foxe Basin, Baffin Sea, off the coasts of Greenland, in the Kara Sea and around Novaya Zemlya. These areas roughly coincide with areas where ice concentration has decreased in early summer (June), thus making the earlier blooms possible. In the selected areas, the annual phytoplankton bloom maximum has advanced by up to 50 days which may have consequences for the Arctic food chain and carbon cycling. Outside the Arctic, the annual Chl maximum has become earlier in boreal North Pacific but later in the North Atlantic.