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Original Research Papers

Changes in DMS production and flux in relation to decadal shifts in ocean circulation

Authors:

J . Icarus Allen ,

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, GB
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Stephen D. Archer,

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, GB
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Jerry C. Blackford,

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, GB
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Francis J . Gilbert,

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, GB
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Arnold H. Taylor

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, GB
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Abstract

A fundamental question is are the biological processes regulating dimethylsulphide (DMS) production by the marine ecosystem interconnected and responding to atmospheric or ocean signals at decadal timescales? Related to this is a need to quantify how climate change affects these interconnections and understand the expected levels of natural variability on decadal timescales. To explore this we have used indicators of climate variability [the Gulf Stream North Wall (GSNW) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) indices] as probes to demonstrate that a marine ecosystem model, incorporating DMS production, can extract and amplify a climatic signal, which is spread across a variety of meteorological variables. The GSNW signal is imparted through the wind and cloud forcing, despite the fact there was not significant relationship observed between the GSNW index and the meteorological forcing data. The model simulations appear to reproduce observed decadal variability in phytoplankton community structure in the eastern North Atlantic and imply that DMS(P) biogeochemistry may vary on decadal timescales as a consequence of changes in community structure. The GSNW index is a potential indicator of such changes and there may have been a regime shift in DMSP production in the eastern North Atlantic coincident with that observed for plankton. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the impact of climate variability on DMS biogeochemistry may potentially be damped by the ability of microbial communities to adapt physiologically to the effects of changes in light and nutrients.

How to Cite: Allen, J.I., Archer, S.D., Blackford, J.C., Gilbert, F.J. and Taylor, A.H., 2006. Changes in DMS production and flux in relation to decadal shifts in ocean circulation. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 58(3), pp.242–254. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2006.00183.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2006
 Accepted on 9 Jan 2006            Submitted on 6 Jul 2005

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