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20 July 2016

Predicting the export and fate of global ocean net primary production: The EXPORTS

Earth’s carbon cycle is heavily influenced by ecological processes in the ocean. The quantification and understanding of the intricate relationships between carbon dioxide and ocean ecosystems, EXPORTS and what effects these have on the present and future conditions on Earth, is one of the greatest challenges in oceanography. One of the most important aspects that preclude the full understanding of the ocean carbon cycle is the lack of parallel measurements at a global scale; this also hinders our ability to make robust predictions in an uncertain future. The EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) Science Plan was proposed to NASA in order address this knowledge gap. It aims at developing a predictive understanding of the export and fate of global ocean net primary production (NPP) and its implications to the ocean carbon cycle for present and future climates. The goal of this project is to quantify of the mechanisms that control the export of carbon from the euphotic zone as well as its fate in the underlying “twilight zone”.

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