From bloom to gloom - Primary production, food web processes and vertical flux in changing oceans
Downward flux of particulate organic carbon and its sequestration in the deep ocean is a key process in ocean’s capacity to counteract the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2.
The exchange of carbon between the ocean and the atmosphere is controlled by subtle changes in the physicochemical processes affecting the transfer of inorganic carbon from the surface to the ocean interior (solubility pump) and the biological processes affecting the export flux and remineralisation of carbon in the productive layer (biological pump). The efficiency of the biological pump varies across areas and seasons, both in the magnitude of export flux, and its attenuation in the oceans’ twilight zone.
This course aims to give the students a comprehensive, up-to-date, view of biochemical fluxes in the ocean interior and the productive layer processes affecting them, as well as the ability to measure vertical flux and the associated processes.
These specific topics are covered:
- nutrient and carbon chemistry and primary production
- key food-web processes retaining carbon in the euphotic zone, as well as increasing and decreasing the vertical flux
- biochemical composition of vertical flux and how to measure and model it
- influence of climate change on vertical flux and
- climate change and geo engineering