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Assessing the impact of climate warming on ice algal production in the Arctic Ocean

Rubao Ji
 

Department of Biology

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Abstract

In the Arctic ecosystem, ice algae contribute significantly to the total primary production (ice algae + phytoplankton) and play a critical role in sustaining pelagic and benthic secondary production. Climate warming has caused considerable changes in the ice/snow dynamics, including the dramatic decrease of ice coverage, the thinning of sea ice and snow, and the early melting of sea ice.These changes will inevitably impact the spatio-temporal distribution of ice algae production across the Arctic Ocean. Assessing such an impact is technically challenging yet scientifically interesting. In this proposed study, I will apply an ice algae model to quantitatively assess the impact of climate warming on ice algal production in the Arctic Ocean. Data from multiple sources will be used to drive the model, including the ice/snow information derived from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), surface short wave heat flux (for computing the photosynthesis available radiance) from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project - Flux Data (ISCCP-FD), and nutrients and temperature/salinity climatology from the World Ocean Atlas 2005 (WOA05). The resulting model will be able to examine the change of total ice algae production, as well as the spatial distribution and variation of ice algae blooms (both timing and magnitude) across the Arctic Ocean in response to decreasing ice extent and snow depth.



 

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Last updated March 27, 2007
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