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Biological and chemical response of the equatorial Pacific Ocean to the 1997-98 El Nino


Chavez, FP and Strutton, PG and Friederich, GE and Feely, RA and Feldman, GC and Foley, DG and McPhaden, MJ, Biological and chemical response of the equatorial Pacific Ocean to the 1997-98 El Nino, Science, 286, (5447) pp. 2126-2131. ISSN 0036-8075 (1999) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 1999 The American Association for the Advancement of Science

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.286.5447.2126


During the 1997–98 El Niño, the equatorial Pacific Ocean retained 0.7 × 1015 grams of carbon that normally would have been lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The surface ocean became impoverished in plant nutrients, and chlorophyll concentrations were the lowest on record. A dramatic recovery occurred in mid-1998, the system became highly productive, analogous to coastal environments, and carbon dioxide flux out of the ocean was again high. The spatial extent of the phytoplankton bloom that followed recovery from El Niño was the largest ever observed for the equatorial Pacific. These chemical and ecological perturbations were linked to changes in the upwelling of nutrient-enriched waters. The description and explanation of these dynamic changes would not have been possible without an observing system that combines biological, chemical, and physical sensors on moorings with remote sensing of chlorophyll.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:tropical Pacific, productivity, gas exchange
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Strutton, PG (Professor Peter Strutton)
ID Code:138646
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:482
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-04-20
Last Modified:2020-06-17

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