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  1. Abstract

    The recent trend of global warming has exerted a disproportionately strong influence on the Eurasian land surface, causing a steady decline in snow cover extent over the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau region. Here we show that this loss of snow is undermining winter convective mixing and causing stratification of the upper layer of the Arabian Sea at a much faster rate than predicted by global climate models. Over the past four decades, the Arabian Sea has also experienced a profound loss of inorganic nitrate. In all probability, this is due to increased denitrification caused by the expansion of the permanent oxygen minimum zone and consequent changes in nutrient stoichiometries. These exceptional changes appear to be creating a niche particularly favorable to the mixotroph,Noctiluca scintillanswhich has recently replaced diatoms as the dominant winter, bloom forming organism. AlthoughNoctilucablooms are non-toxic, they can cause fish mortality by exacerbating oxygen deficiency and ammonification of seawater. As a consequence, their continued range expansion represents a significant and growing threat for regional fisheries and the welfare of coastal populations dependent on the Arabian Sea for sustenance.

     
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  2. Abstract

    The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) was surveyed across the Amazon River plume and the surrounding western tropical North Atlantic Ocean (15–0°N, 43–60°W) during three oceanic expeditions (May–June 2010, September–October 2011, and July 2012). The survey timing was chosen according to previously described temporal variability in plume behavior due to changing river discharge and winds.In situsea surfacepCO2and air‐sea CO2flux exhibited robust linear relationships with sea surface salinity (SSS; 15 < SSS < 35), although the relationships differed among the surveys. Regional distributions ofpCO2and CO2flux were estimated using SSS maps from high‐resolution ocean color satellite‐derived (MODIS‐Aqua) diffuse attenuation coefficient at 490 nm (Kd490) during the periods of study. Results confirmed that the plume is a net CO2sink with distinctive temporal variability: the strongest drawdown occurred during the spring flood (−2.39 ± 1.29 mmol m−2 d−1in June 2010), while moderate drawdown with relatively greater spatial variability was observed during the transitional stages of declining river discharge (−0.42 ± 0.76 mmol m−2 d−1in September–October 2011). The region turned into a weak source in July 2012 (0.26 ± 0.62 mmol m−2 d−1) when strong CO2uptake in the mid‐plume was overwhelmed by weak CO2outgassing over a larger area in the outer plume. Outgassing near the mouth of the river was observed in July 2012. Our observations draw attention to the importance of assessing the variable impacts of biological activity, export, and air‐sea gas exchange before estimating regional CO2fluxes from salinity distributions alone.

     
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