Editor's Summary

17 January 2008

Oxygen at sea


The question of whether the upper waters of the subtropical ocean are net producers or consumers of oxygen has been a subject of considerable controversy during the past decade. Stephen Riser and Kenneth Johnson examined the balance of oxygen production over three years at sites in the North and South Pacific subtropical gyres using oxygen sensors deployed on profiling floats. These measurements provide evidence that there is net production of oxygen in the upper layer throughout the year. These findings are of importance to our understanding of biogeochemical processes in the open ocean and ocean/atmosphere linkages.

LetterNet production of oxygen in the subtropical ocean

Stephen C. Riser & Kenneth S. Johnson

doi:10.1038/nature06441