Hurricanes enhance labile carbon export to the deep ocean
Conte, Maureen H.
Weber, John C.
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Keywordhurricanes; carbon cycle; North Atlantic Ocean; deep ocean; particle fluxes; lipid biomarkers
Tropical cyclones (hurricanes) generate intense surface ocean cooling and vertical mixing resulting in nutrient upwelling into the photic zone and episodic phytoplankton blooms. However, their influence on the deep ocean remains unknown. Here we present evidence that hurricanes also impact the ocean's biological pump by enhancing export of labile organic material to the deep ocean. In October 2016, Category 3 Hurricane Nicole passed over the Bermuda Time Series site in the oligotrophic NW Atlantic Ocean. Following Nicole's passage, particulate fluxes of lipids diagnostic of fresh phytodetritus, zooplankton, and microbial biomass increased by 30–300% at 1,500 m depth and 30–800% at 3,200 m depth. Mesopelagic suspended particles following Nicole were also enriched in phytodetrital material and in zooplankton and bacteria lipids, indicating particle disaggregation and a deepwater ecosystem response. Predicted climate‐induced increases in hurricane frequency and/or intensity may significantly alter ocean biogeochemical cycles by increasing the strength of the biological pump.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2019. 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 46 (2019): 10484–10494, doi:10.1029/2019GL083719.
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Suggested CitationPedrosa-Pamies, R., Conte, M. H., Weber, J. C., & Johnson, R. (2019). Hurricanes enhance labile carbon export to the deep ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 10484–10494.
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