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Title: Sensitivity of the Relationship Between Antarctic Ice Shelves and Iron Supply to Projected Changes in the Atmospheric Forcing

Upward advection or mixing of iron‐rich deep waters due to circulation changes driven by the rate of basal ice shelf melt was shown to be a primary control on chlorophyllaproduction in coastal polynyas over the Antarctic continental shelf. Here, the effects of atmospheric changes projected in 2100 on this relationship were examined with a 5‐km resolution ocean/sea ice/ice shelf model of the Southern Ocean with different simulated dissolved iron sources and idealized biological uptake. The atmospheric changes are added as idealized increments to the forcing. Inclusion of a poleward shift and strengthening of the winds, increased precipitation, and warmer atmospheric temperatures resulted in doubling of the heat advected onto the continental shelf and an 83% increase in the total Antarctic ice shelf basal melt. The total dissolved iron supply to the surface waters over the continental shelf increased by 62%, while the surface iron supply due just to basal melt driven overturning increased by 48%. However, even though the ice shelf driven contribution becomes less important to the total iron supply on average (29% of total), the ice shelf involvement becomes relatively even more important in some locations, such as the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas. The modified atmospheric conditions also produced a reduction in summer sea ice extent and a shoaling of the summer mixed layers. These simulated responses to projected changes suggest relief of light and nutrient limitation for phytoplankton blooms over the Antarctic continental shelf and perhaps an increase in annual production in years to come.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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