This is what it looked like at about day six. This is the difference
between warm, 30-degree Equatorial Pacific, and warm 30-degree,
almost coastal Monterey phytoplankton. You could smell this change
on board a ship, and it looked like this for miles and miles and
what did we find? Equatorial systems are limited by iron availability
to the phytoplankton. With iron additions, there is essentially
a shift in ecosystem structure, which leads to export of organic
carbon from the surface water to the deeper water. From some preliminary
calculations, using the budgeting of the nitrate deficiency, we
estimate that on the order of 1800 tons of carbon may have been
removed in about seven days.
So we have questions for the future. Some of these have been
answered recently by the SOIREE and by the EisenEX cruises in
the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. I want to talk a bit
about some of our Southern Ocean cruises with the JGOFS program
(Joint Global Ocean Flux Study) into what is the largest mass
of high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll water.
part of the U.S. JGOFS program in the Southern Ocean, we towed
this undulating device that flies up and down through the water
column, sweeping img of phytoplankton, biomass, chlorophyll
and fluorescence, zooplankton, temperature, salinity, and oxygen.
By towing this sled for 800 miles, we can make these murals of
ocean section. We see that during the springtime, in parts of
the Southern Ocean, there's very little biomass in the water column.
But during the summertime a significant bloom develops in this
peculiar region just south of the convergence zone.