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Abstract

Fine-scale currents, (1–100 km, days–months), are actively involved in the transport and transformation of biogeochemical tracers in the ocean. However, their overall impact on large-scale biogeochemical cycling on the timescale of years remains poorly understood due to the multiscale nature of the problem. Here, we summarize these impacts and critically review current estimates. We examine how eddy fluxes and upscale connections enter into the large-scale balance of biogeochemical tracers. We show that the overall contribution of eddy fluxes to primary production and carbon export may not be as large as it is for oxygen ventilation. We highlight the importance of fine scales to low-frequency natural variability through upscale connections and show that they may also buffer the negative effects of climate change on the functioning of biogeochemical cycles. Significant interdisciplinary efforts are needed to properly account for the cross-scale effects of fine scales on biogeochemical cycles in climate projections.

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2024-01-17
2024-04-12
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