Large-scale patterns of net community production (NCP) were estimated during the late summer cruise ARK-XXVI/3 (TransArc, August/September 2011) to the central Arctic Ocean. Several approaches were used based on the following: (i) continuous measurements of surface water oxygen to argon ratios (O2/Ar), (ii) underway measurements of surface partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), (iii) discrete samples of dissolved inorganic carbon, and (iv) dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphate. The NCP estimates agreed well within the uncertainties associated with each approach. The highest late summer NCP (up to 6 mol C m-2) was observed in the marginal sea ice zone region. Low values (<1 mol C m-2) were found in the sea ice-covered deep basins with a strong spatial variability. Lowest values were found in the Amundsen Basin and moderate values in the Nansen and Makarov Basins with slightly higher estimates over the Mendeleev Ridge. Our findings support a coupling of NCP to sea ice coverage and nutrient supply and thus stress a potential change in spatial and temporal distribution of NCP in a future Arctic Ocean. To follow the evolution of NCP in space and time, it is suggested to apply one or several of these approaches in shipboard investigations with a time interval of 3 to 5 years.
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Physical Oceanography of the Polar Seas