EGU22-2322, updated on 27 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sea-ice derived meltwater stratification slows thebiological carbon pump: results from continuousobservations

Wilken-Jon von Appen1, Anya Waite2, Antje Boetius1, and the FRAM team*
Wilken-Jon von Appen et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The ocean moderates the world’s climate through absorption of heat and carbon, but how much carbon the ocean will continue to absorb remains unknown. The North Atlantic Ocean west (Baffin Bay/Labrador Sea) and east (Fram Strait/Greenland Sea) of Greenland features the most intense absorption of anthropogenic carbon globally; the biological carbon pump (BCP) contributes substantially. As Arctic sea-ice melts, the BCP changes, impacting global climate and other critical ocean attributes (e.g. biodiversity). Full understanding requires year-round observations across a range of ice conditions. Here we present such observations: autonomously collected Eulerian continuous 24-month time-series in Fram Strait. We show that, compared to ice-unaffected conditions, sea-ice derived meltwater stratification slows the BCP by 4 months, a shift from an export to a retention system, with measurable impacts on benthic communities. This has implications for ecosystem dynamics in the future warmer Arctic where the seasonal ice zone is expected to expand. (Published in Nature Communications, December 2021, )

FRAM team:

Wilken-Jon von Appen, Anya M. Waite, Melanie Bergmann, Christina Bienhold, Olaf Boebel, Astrid Bracher, Boris Cisewski, Jonas Hagemann, Mario Hoppema, Morten H. Iversen, Christian Konrad, Thomas Krumpen, Normen Lochthofen, Katja Metfies, Barbara Niehoff, Eva-Maria Nöthig, Autun Purser, Ian Salter, Matthias Schaber, Daniel Scholz, Thomas Soltwedel, Sinhue Torres-Valdes, Claudia Wekerle, Frank Wenzhöfer Matthias Wietz, Antje Boetius

How to cite: von Appen, W.-J., Waite, A., and Boetius, A. and the FRAM team: Sea-ice derived meltwater stratification slows thebiological carbon pump: results from continuousobservations, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2322,, 2022.