|Title:||Anomalous wind triggered the largest phytoplankton bloom in the oligotrophic North Pacific Subtropical Gyre||Authors:||Chow, Chun Hoe
|Keywords:||SEA-SURFACE;VARIABILITY;COUNTERCURRENT;MESOSCALE;COMMUNITY||Issue Date:||29-Oct-2019||Publisher:||NATURE PORTFOLIO||Journal Volume:||9||Source:||SCI REP-UK||Abstract:||
In summer 2010, a massive bloom appeared in the middle (16-25 degrees N, 160-200 degrees E) of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG) creating a spectacular oasis in the middle of the largest oceanic desert on Earth. Peaked in June 2010 covering over two million km' in space, this phytoplankton bloom is the largest ever recorded by ocean color satellites in the NPSG over the period from 1997 to 2013. The initiation and mechanisms sustaining the massive bloom were due to atmospheric and oceanic anomalies. Over the north (25-30 degrees N) of the bloom, strong anticyclonic winds warmed sea surface temperature (SST) via Ekman convergence. Subsequently, anomalous westward ocean currents were generated by SST meridional gradients between 19 degrees N and 25 degrees N, producing strong velocity shear that caused large number of mesoscale (100-km in order) cyclonic eddies in the bloom region. The ratio of cyclonic to anticyclonic eddies of 2.7 in summer 2010 is the highest over the 16-year study period. As a result of the large eddy-number differences, eddy-eddy interactions were strong and induced submesosca le (smaller than 100 km) vertical pumping as observed in the in-situ ocean profiles. The signature of vertical pumping was also presented in the in-situ measurements of chlorophyll and nutrients, which show higher concentrations in 2010 than other years.
|Appears in Collections:||13 CLIMATE ACTION|
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