Discrepant estimates of primary and export production from satellite algorithms, a biogeochemical model, and geochemical tracer measurements in the North Pacific Ocean

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Palevsky, Hilary I.
Quay, Paul D.
Nicholson, David P.
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North Pacific
Biological pump
Carbon cycle
Estimates of primary and export production (PP and EP) based on satellite remote sensing algorithms and global biogeochemical models are widely used to provide year-round global coverage not available from direct observations. However, observational data to validate these approaches are limited. We find that no single satellite algorithm or model can reproduce seasonal and annual geochemically determined PP, export efficiency (EP/PP), and EP rates throughout the North Pacific basin, based on comparisons throughout the full annual cycle at time series stations in the subarctic and subtropical gyres and basin-wide regions sampled by container ship transects. The high-latitude regions show large PP discrepancies in winter and spring and strong effects of deep winter mixed layers on annual EP that cannot be accounted for in current satellite-based approaches. These results underscore the need to evaluate satellite- and model-based estimates using multiple productivity parameters measured over broad ocean regions throughout the annual cycle.
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): 8645–8653, doi:10.1002/2016GL070226.
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Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 8645–8653
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