PerspectiveOceans

Will marine productivity wane?

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Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1103-1104
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat0795

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Summary

If marine algae are impaired severely by global climate change, the resulting reduction in marine primary production would strongly affect marine life and the ocean's biological pump that sequesters substantial amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the ocean's interior. Most studies, including the latest generation of Earth system models, project only moderate global decreases in biological production until 2100 (1, 2), suggesting that these concerns are unwarranted. But on page 1139 of this issue, Moore et al. (3) show that this conclusion might be shortsighted and that there may be much larger long-term changes in ocean productivity than previously appreciated.