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Springtime Export of Arctic Sea Ice Influences Phytoplankton Production in the Greenland Sea

Abstract : Climate model projections suggest a substantial decrease of sea ice export into the outflow areas of the Arctic Ocean over the 21st century. Fram Strait, located in the Greenland Sea sector, is the principal gateway for ice export from the Arctic Ocean. The consequences of lower sea ice flux through Fram Strait on ocean dynamics and primary production in the Greenland Sea remain unknown. By using the most recent 16 years (2003-2018) of satellite imagery available and hydrographic in situ observations, the role of exported Arctic sea ice on water column stratification and phytoplankton production in the Greenland Sea is evaluated. Years with high Arctic sea ice flux through Fram Strait resulted in high sea ice concentration in the Greenland Sea, stronger water column stratification, and an earlier spring phytoplankton bloom associated with high primary production levels. Similarly, years with low Fram Strait ice flux were associated with a weak water column stratification and a delayed phytoplankton spring bloom. This work emphasizes that sea ice and phytoplankton production in subarctic "outflow seas" can be strongly influenced by changes occurring in the Arctic Ocean.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 7, 2022 - 6:55:43 PM
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N. Mayot, P. A. Matrai, A. Arjona, S. Bélanger, C. Marchese, et al.. Springtime Export of Arctic Sea Ice Influences Phytoplankton Production in the Greenland Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2020, 125, ⟨10.1029/2019JC015799⟩. ⟨insu-03661726⟩

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