Blue Planet

The role of the oceans in nutrient cycling, maintaining the atmospheric system, and modulating climate change

Authored by: Susan M. Libes

Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415531757
eBook ISBN: 9780203115398
Adobe ISBN: 9781136294822

10.4324/9780203115398.ch6

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Abstract

This chapter explores the role of the oceans in nutrient cycling, maintaining the atmospheric system, and modulating climate change. The essential connections between these topics are: (1) nutrients are one of the most important controls on biological productivity in the oceans, (2) this biological activity generates and consumes gases that are exchanged across the air–sea interface and (3) these gases play an important role in the natural greenhouse effect that moderates global climate. Rising levels of these greenhouse gases (GHGs) have the potential to cause the temperature of the atmosphere to rise.

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