On the temperature dependence of oceanic export efficiency
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Quantifying the fraction of primary production exported from the euphotic layer (termed the export efficiency ef) is a complicated matter. Studies have suggested empirical relationships with temperature which offer attractive potential for parameterization. Here we develop what is arguably the simplest mechanistic model relating the two, using established thermodynamic dependencies for primary production and respiration. It results in a single-parameter curve that constrains the envelope of possible efficiencies, capturing the upper bounds of several ef-T data sets. The approach provides a useful theoretical constraint on this relationship and extracts the variability in ef due to temperature but does not idealize out the remaining variability which evinces the substantial complexity of the system in question.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 5170–5175, doi:10.1002/2016GL068877.
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