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Does the marine biosphere mix the ocean?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rory Bingham


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Ocean mixing is thought to control the climatically important oceanic overturning circulation. Here we argue the marine biosphere, by a mechanism like the bioturbation occurring in marine sediments, mixes the oceans as effectively as the winds and tides. This statement is derived ultimately from an estimated 62.7 TeraWatts of chemical power provided to the marine environment in net primary production. Various approaches argue something like 1\% (.63 TeraWatts) of this power is invested in aphotic ocean mechanical energy, a rate comparable to wind and tidal inputs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dewar WK, Bingham RJ, Iverson RL, Nowacek DP, St. Laurent LC, Wiebe PH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Marine Research

Year: 2006

Volume: 64

Issue: 4

Pages: 541-561

ISSN (print): 0022-2402

ISSN (electronic): 1543-9542

Publisher: Sears Foundation for Marine Research


DOI: 10.1357/002224006778715720


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