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Carbon and nutrient mixed layer dynamics in the Norwegian Sea

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Abstract:

A coupled carbon-ecosystem model is compared to recent data from Ocean Weather Ship M (66° N, 02° E) and used to investigate nutrient and carbon processes within the Norwegian Sea. Nitrate is consumed by phytoplankton in the surface layers over the summer; however the data show that silicate does not become rapidly limiting for diatoms, in contrast to the model prediction and in contrast to data from other temperate locations. The model estimates atmosphere-ocean CO2 flux to be 37 g C m 2 yr 1. A detailed comparison of the carbonate system at other ocean locations reveals that although coccolithophore blooms occur at OWS M, they are not as prevalent here as other areas. The seasonal cycles of calcite saturation state and [CO32 ] are similar in the model and in data: values range from ~3 and ~120 μmol kg 1 respectively in winter, to ~4 and ~170 μmol kg 1 respectively in summer. The timing of coccolithophore blooms within the year therefore coincides with a time of high calcite saturation state, as predicted by previous modelling work.

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