“Industrial-era decline in subarctic Atlantic productivity”, by Osman, Das, et al


Marine phytoplankton have a crucial role in the modulation of marine-based food webs [1], fishery yields [2] and the global drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide [3]. However, owing to sparse measurements before satellite monitoring in the twenty-first century, the long-term response of planktonic stocks to climate forcing is unknown. Here, using a continuous, multi-century record of subarctic Atlantic marine productivity, we show that a marked 10 ± 7% decline in net primary productivity has occurred across this highly productive ocean basin over the past two centuries. We support this conclusion by the application of a marine-productivity proxy, established using the signal of the planktonic-derived aerosol methanesulfonic acid, which is commonly identified across an array of Greenlandic ice cores. Using contemporaneous satellite-era observations, we demonstrate the use of this signal as a robust and high-resolution proxy for past variations in spatially integrated marine productivity. We show that the initiation of declining subarctic Atlantic productivity broadly coincides with the onset of Arctic surface warming [4], and that productivity strongly covaries with regional sea-surface temperatures and basin-wide gyre circulation strength over recent decades. Taken together, our results suggest that the decline in industrial-era productivity may be evidence of the predicted [5] collapse of northern Atlantic planktonic stocks in response to a weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation [6–8]. Continued weakening of this Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, as projected for the twenty-first century [9,10], may therefore result in further productivity declines across this globally relevant region.

(Emphasis added.)

Article about the investigation at WHOI.

The paper using a technique devised by Chaudhuri and Marron called SiZer.

There is an R package for it.

Hannig and Marron published a more recent article, and Marron has studied its applications extensively.

The figure below is from

N. J. Abram, et al, “Early onset of industrial-era warming across the oceans and continents”, Nature, 2016, 536, with corrigendum in 2017.

where SiZer is used in a geophysical application cited by Osman, Das, et al.

About ecoquant

See https://667-per-cm.net/about. Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in science. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Industrial-era decline in subarctic Atlantic productivity”, by Osman, Das, et al

  1. Pingback: From the Promise Forward Department | Hypergeometric

Leave a reply. Commenting standards are described in the About section linked from banner.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.