Does the marine biosphere mix the ocean?
Dewar, William K.
Bingham, Rory J.
Iverson, R. L.
Nowacek, Douglas P.
St. Laurent, Louis C.
Wiebe, Peter H.
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Ocean mixing is thought to control the climatically important oceanic overturning circulation. Here we argue the marine biosphere, by a mechanism like the bioturbation occurring in marine sediments, mixes the oceans as effectively as the winds and tides. This statement is derived ultimately from an estimated 62.7 TeraWatts of chemical power provided to the marine environment in net primary production. Various approaches argue something like 1% (.63 TeraWatts) of this power is invested in aphotic ocean mechanical energy, a rate comparable to wind and tidal inputs.
Author Posting. © Sears Foundation for Marine Research, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of Sears Foundation for Marine Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Marine Research 64 (2006): 541-561, doi:10.1357/002224006778715720.
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