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  1. Spatial and temporal trends of remotely sensed sea-ice cover, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a concentration and primary production in the Baffin Bay, Davis Strait and Labrador Sea were analyzed for the 1998–2017 period. We found spatial variability in the trends of these cryospheric, biologic and oceanographic phenomena. For example, in the northern Baffin Bay, we observed decreases in annual sea-ice persistence, yet increases along the Labrador Sea-ice edge during winter, with the latter having significant correlations with broader atmospheric patterns. In general, we observed increases in summer sea surface temperatures across the study region, except a small area of cooling along the southern Greenlandic coast. We also found significant negative trends in April chlorophyll-a and primary production followed by significant positive trends for both biological phenomena in May, owing to anomalously high values in 2014 and 2015. Notably, we found a significant positive correlation between days of monthly sea ice presence in April with May primary production quantities. Finally, we found a significant positive trend in total annual primary production over the study period. This novel finding suggests an important relationship between the timing of breakup along the sea-ice edge and peaks in biological production. 
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  3. Abstract: The timing of sea ice retreat, light availability, and sea surface stratification largely control the phytoplankton community composition in the Chukchi Sea. This region is experiencing a significant warming trend, an overall decrease in sea ice cover, and a documented decline in annual sea ice persistence and thickness over the past several decades. The consequences of earlier seasonal sea ice retreat and a longer sea-ice-free season on phytoplankton community composition warrant investigation. We applied multivariate statistical techniques to elucidate the mechanisms that relate environmental variables to phytoplankton community composition in the Chukchi Sea using data collected during a single field campaign in the summer of 2011. Three phytoplankton groups emerged that were correlated with sea ice, sea surface temperature, nutrients, salinity, and light. Longer ice-free duration in a future Chukchi Sea will result in warmer sea surface temperatures and nutrient depletion, which we conclude will favor other phytoplankton types over larger diatoms. Plain Language Summary: In the Chukchi Sea, the seasonality of sea ice shapes ecosystem structure of the water column under both sea-ice-covered and sea-ice-free conditions. As such, phytoplankton community composition under both conditions responds to water column structure and nutrient availability. Owing to recent warming in the Arctic, sea ice is thinner and retreats earlier. To date, we do not fully understand the long-term consequences of earlier sea ice retreat on phytoplankton community composition and carbon biomass. To this end, we used environmental and phytoplankton data to relate how differences in ecosystem function under sea-ice-covered and sea-ice-free conditions govern phytoplankton communities. The results from this data set suggest that a future, sea-ice-free Chukchi Sea will exhibit lower phytoplankton biomass, impacting the food web and carbon export. 
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