The Arctic Ocean is warming at two to three times the global rate1 and is perceived to be a bellwether for ocean acidification2,3. Increased CO2 concentrations are expected to have a fertilization effect on marine autotrophs4, and higher temperatures should lead to increased rates of planktonic primary production5. Yet, simultaneous assessment of warming and increased CO2 on primary production in the Arctic has not been conducted. Here we test the expectation that CO2-enhanced gross primary production (GPP) may be temperature dependent, using data from several oceanographic cruises and experiments from both spring and summer in the European sector of the Arctic Ocean. Results confirm that CO2 enhances GPP (by a factor of up to ten) over a range of 145–2,099 μatm; however, the greatest effects are observed only at lower temperatures and are constrained by nutrient and light availability to the spring period. The temperature dependence of CO2-enhanced primary production has significant implications for metabolic balance in a warmer, CO2-enriched Arctic Ocean in the future. In particular, it indicates that a twofold increase in primary production during the spring is likely in the Arctic.
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This research was supported by the Arctic Tipping Points project (http://www.eu-atp.org), funded by the Framework Program 7 of the European Union (no. 226248), the ATOS and ARCTICMET projects, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (no. POL2006-00550/CTM and CTM2011-15792-E, respectively), and the CARBONBRIDGE project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council (no. 226415). We thank M. A.-Rodriguez for providing estimates from cruises, P. Carrillo and A. Dorrsett for help with carbonate system analyses, R. Gutiérrez for chlorophyll a analyses, J. C. Alonso and S. Kristiansen for nutrient analyses, E. Halvorsen for logistical support, the captains and crews of the RV Viking Explorer and the RV Helmer Hanssen, and the University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) for accommodation, laboratory space and technical support. J.M.H. was supported by a JAE fellowship (CSIC, Spain). M.S.-M. was funded by Fundación 'La Caixa' PhD grants (Spain).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Holding, J., Duarte, C., Sanz-Martín, M. et al. Temperature dependence of CO2-enhanced primary production in the European Arctic Ocean. Nature Clim Change 5, 1079–1082 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2768
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