Dissolved organic carbon as a component of the biological pump in the North Atlantic Ocean Academic Article uri icon


  • In the classical model, the decline of the CO2 is balanced by accumulation of biogenic carbon and particle export. Carbon budgets based on observations from the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study North Atlantic Bloom Experiment and Bermuda Atlantic Time Series show the CO2 drawdown cannot be balanced by biomass accumulation and exports estimated by sediment traps. There are at least three possible routes toward reconciliation: 1) trap estimates are in error and systematically biased; ii) spatial variability aliasses the observations making budgeting impossible without recourse to coupled three-dimensional models; and/or iii) the classical model must be replaced by a concept in which the accumulation and export of dissolved organic carbon assumes a major role in the North Atlantic carbon balance. At Bermuda, where the most complete data set exists, the weight of the evidence favours the first and third possibilities. -from Authors

author list (cited authors)

  • Ducklow, H. W., Carlson, C. A., Bates, N. R., Knap, A. H., & Michaels, A. F.

citation count

  • 58

publication date

  • May 1995