Recent climate change has produced dramatic decreases in the extent and thickness of sea ice in the Arctic. The resulting changes in primary production have altered the concentration of dissolved organic matter in the upper water column and have an unknown impact on the dissolved organic matter in the remaining sea ice. The proposed project takes advantage of an opportunity to participate in an NSF-funded cruise to the Bering, Chukchi, and southern Beaufort seas in the winter of 2011. Sea ice and seawater from the underlying water column will be collected during the cruise, and the composition of dissolved organic matter will be assessed using ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry. The resulting data will identify sources of organic matter, and allow predictions regarding biological and chemical sinks of organic matter in the Arctic. This project thereby provides the baseline information needed in order to understand the role of dissolved organic matter in the Arctic carbon cycle.
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