What is the cause of the dramatic changes in phytoplankton production in the Arctic Ocean?

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Camila Serra Pompei


Postdoctoral Fellow


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


DKK 1,239,230




Reintegration Fellowships


Arctic phytoplankton production has increased in the past two decades. However, the mechanisms driving such increase are not well understood. The objective of this proposal is to assess the mechanisms driving the changes in phytoplankton production in the Arctic Ocean. This is important because phytoplankton contribute to fish production and the sequestration of carbon in the ocean.


Depending on the mechanisms driving the observed increases in PP, there will be more or less energy available for fish and carbon sequestered in the deep ocean. Therefore, assessing what is driving this increase in phytoplankton productivity will provide an understanding on how ocean ecosystems and biogeochemistry are responding to climate change.


I will use field data to estimate how the supply of nutrients to the surface ocean has changed. Next, I will combine satellite outputs and a global biogeochemical model to assess the performance of existing satellite algorithms used to estimate phytoplankton production. Finally, I will use the model to investigate the mechanisms that can explain the observed increase in phytoplankton production.

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