Academic journal article Science and Children

Ocean's "Twilight Zone"

Academic journal article Science and Children

Ocean's "Twilight Zone"

Article excerpt

A major study has shed new light on the dim layer of the ocean called the "twilight zone," where mysterious processes affect the ocean's ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide accumulating in our atmosphere.

The results of the international research expeditions to the Pacific Ocean show that carbon dioxide, taken up by photosynthesizing marine plants in the sunlit ocean surface layer, does not necessarily sink to the depths, where it is stored and prevented from reentering the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. Instead, carbon transported to the depths in sinking particles is often consumed by animals and bacteria and recycled in the twilight zone (100 to 1,000 m below the surface), never reaching the deep ocean.

Using new technology, the researchers found that only 20% of the total carbon in the ocean surface made it through the twilight zone off Hawaii, while 50% did in the northwest Pacific near Japan. The findings appear in the journal Science.

"The twilight zone is a critical link between the surface and the deep ocean," says Ken Buesseler, a biogeochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and lead author of the study, coauthored by 17 scientists. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.