Assessment of Oceanic Productivity with the Triple-Isotope Composition of Dissolved Oxygen

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Science  16 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5473, pp. 2028-2031
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5473.2028

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Plant production in the sea is a primary mechanism of global oxygen formation and carbon fixation. For this reason, and also because the ocean is a major sink for fossil fuel carbon dioxide, much attention has been given to estimating marine primary production. Here, we describe an approach for estimating production of photosynthetic oxygen, based on the isotopic composition of dissolved oxygen of seawater. This method allows the estimation of integrated oceanic productivity on a time scale of weeks.

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