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Creators/Authors contains: "Fassbender, A. J."

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  1. Abstract

    Methods commonly used to estimate net primary production (NPP) from satellite observations are now being applied to biogeochemical (BGC) profiling float observations. Insights can be gained from regional differences in float and satellite NPP estimates that reveal gaps in our understanding and guide future NPP model development. We use 7 years of BGC profiling float data from the Northeast Pacific Ocean to quantify discrepancies between float and satellite NPP estimates and decompose them into contributions associated with the platform sensing method and depth resolution of observations. We find small, systematic seasonal discrepancies in the depth‐integrated NPP (iNPP) but much larger (>±100%) discrepancies in depth‐resolved NPP. Annual iNPP estimates from the two platforms are significantly, positively correlated, suggesting that they similarly track interannual variability in the study region. Using the long‐term satellite iNPP record, we identify elevated annual iNPP during two recent marine heatwaves and gain insights about ecosystem functionality.

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  2. Abstract

    Carbon export out of the surface ocean via the biological pump is a critical sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. This process transports organic carbon to the deep ocean through sinking particulate organic carbon (POC) and the downward transport of suspended POC and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Changes in the relative contribution of each pathway can significantly affect the magnitude and efficiency of carbon export to depth. Net community production (NCP), an analog of carbon export under steady state assumptions, is typically estimated using budgets of biologically important chemical tracers in the upper ocean constrained by ship‐board or autonomous platform observations. In this study, we use measurements from biogeochemical profiling floats, the Ocean Station Papa mooring, and recently developed algorithms for carbonate system parameters to constrain budgets for three tracers (nitrate, dissolved inorganic carbon, and total alkalinity) and estimate NCP in the Northeast Pacific from 2009 to 2017. Using our multiple‐tracer approach, and constraining end‐member nutrient ratios of the POC and DOC produced, we not only calculate regional NCP throughout the annual cycle and across multiple depth horizons, but also partition this quantity into particulate and dissolved portions. We also use a particle backscatter‐based approach to estimate POC attenuation with depth and present a new method to constrain particle export across deeper horizons and estimate in situ export efficiency. Our results agree well with previously published estimates of regional carbon export annually and suggest that the approaches presented here could be used to assess the magnitude and efficiency of carbon export in other regions of the world's oceans.

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  3. Abstract

    A scarcity of wintertime observations of surface ocean carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) in and near the Gulf Stream creates uncertainty in the magnitude of the regional carbon sink and its controlling mechanisms. Recent observations from an Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV), outfitted with a payload to measure surface ocean and lower atmospherepCO2, revealed sharp gradients in oceanpCO2across the Gulf Stream. Surface oceanpCO2was lower by ∼50 μatm relative to the atmosphere in the subtropical mode water (STMW) formation region. This undersaturation combined with strong wintertime winds allowed for rapid ocean uptake of CO2, averaging −11.5 mmol m−2 day−1during the February 2019 USV mission. The unique timing of this mission revealed active STMW formation. The USV proved to be a useful tool for CO2flux quantification in the poorly observed, dynamic western boundary current environment.

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