Courtney Payne

Stanford

“Pan-Arctic analysis of under-ice phytoplankton bloom frequency, 2003-2020”

Under-ice (UI) phytoplankton blooms have been observed throughout the Arctic Ocean and can generate up to 50% of annual net primary production. We found that UI bloom pixels were prevalent across the Arctic, but were most common in the American sector of the Arctic (the Chukchi Sea) and that the proportion of UI pixels diminished in the south but expanded in the North.

ABSTRACT

Under-ice (UI) phytoplankton blooms have been observed throughout the Arctic Ocean and can generate up to 50% of annual net primary production. We have used remote sensing data to assess the prevalence of UI blooms, which regions of the Arctic most frequently support UI blooms, and whether there has been a change in their prevalence over time. We found that there was an increase in the number of pixels that experienced sea ice retreat over time. While pixels with evidence of UI blooms increased over time, they didn’t change as a proportion of total pixels. Further, we found that UI bloom pixels were most common in the Chukchi Sea in the American sector of the Arctic and that the proportion of UI pixels diminished at southern latitudes (66.5-70°N) but increased at northern latitudes (75-85°N). This work indicates that UI blooms are indeed a widespread phenomenon across the Arctic Ocean and that changes in UI bloom prevalence are dependent on latitude.
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