Causes of increased dissolved inorganic carbon in the subsurface layers in the western shelfbreak and high latitude basin in the Arctic Pacific Sector

The expansion of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)-rich water carried by the Pacific inflow creates a DIC maximum layer and exerts important influences on ocean acidification in the subsurface Arctic Ocean. This study analyzed shifts in the DIC distribution of the subsurface Arctic Ocean during 1998–2015 through hindcast simulation using a three-dimensional ocean-sea ice-biogeochemical model. For this purpose, the study was divided into two time periods (1998–2007 and 2008–2015). The results showed that the lower boundary layer of the Pacific Winter Water (PWW), defined as an isopycnal of 27 kg/m3, became deeper by ~50 m in the central Canada Basin and expanded northward during 2008–2015 relative to 1998–2007. Accordingly, the subsurface DIC maximum layer deepened and expanded northwards into the Makarov Basin at high latitudes around 85°N. During 2008–2015, DIC concentrations, averaged over a 50–250 m water column, increased significantly in the Chukchi-East Siberian Shelfbreak and Makarov Basin. The DIC increase over the shelfbreak is mainly attributable to increased local biological degradation and the transportation of DIC-rich water from the Chukchi Shelf through Barrow Canyon. Estimates of the DIC budget indicated that advection controlled the increase in DIC content in the Makarov Basin during 2008–2015. This is attributed to the shift of the ocean circulation pattern, in which the ocean current along the Chukchi-East Siberian Slope to the Makarov Basin became stronger during 2008–2015, promoting the transport of DIC-rich Pacific Water into the Makarov Basin.

Chu G., Luo X., Zheng Z., Zhao W. & Wei H., in press. Causes of increased dissolved inorganic carbon in the subsurface layers in the western shelfbreak and high latitude basin in the Arctic Pacific Sector. Environmental Research Letters. Article.

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