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Temperature controls carbon cycling and biological evolution in the ocean twilight zone

Boscolo Galazzo, Flavia ORCID:, Crichton, Katherine A., Ridgwell, Andy, Mawbey, Elaine M., Wade, Bridget S. and Pearson, Paul N. ORCID: 2021. Temperature controls carbon cycling and biological evolution in the ocean twilight zone. Science 371 (6534) , pp. 1148-1152. 10.1126/science.abb6643

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Theory suggests that the ocean’s biological carbon pump, the process by which organic matter is produced at the surface and transferred to the deep ocean, is sensitive to temperature because temperature controls photosynthesis and respiration rates. We applied a combined data-modeling approach to investigate carbon and nutrient recycling rates across the world ocean over the past 15 million years of global cooling. We found that the efficiency of the biological carbon pump increased with ocean cooling as the result of a temperature-dependent reduction in the rate of remineralization (degradation) of sinking organic matter. Increased food delivery at depth prompted the development of new deep-water niches, triggering deep plankton evolution and the expansion of the mesopelagic “twilight zone” ecosystem.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science 371, 12/3/21
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN: 0036-8075
Funders: NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 28 January 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 21:53

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