Methods for biogeochemical studies of sea ice: The state of the art, caveats, and recommendations

Miller, Lisa A. and Fripiat, Francois and Else, Brent G.T. and Bowman, Jeff S. and Brown, Kristina A. and Collins, R. Eric and Ewert, Marcela and Fransson, Agneta and Gosselin, Michel and Lannuzel, Delphine and Meiners, Klaus M. and Michel, Christine and Nishioka, Jun and Nomura, Daiki and Papadimitriou, Stathys and Russell, Lynn M. and Sørensen, Lise Lotte and Thomas, David N. and Tison, Jean-Louis and van Leeuwe, Maria A. and Vancoppenolle, Martin and Wolff, Eric W. and Zhou, Jiayun (2015) Methods for biogeochemical studies of sea ice: The state of the art, caveats, and recommendations. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 3. 000038. ISSN 2325-1026 DOI 10.12952/journal.elementa.000038

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.12952/journal.elementa.000038

Abstract

Over the past two decades, with recognition that the ocean’s sea-ice cover is neither insensitive to climate change nor a barrier to light and matter, research in sea-ice biogeochemistry has accelerated significantly, bringing together a multi-disciplinary community from a variety of fields. This disciplinary diversity has contributed a wide range of methodological techniques and approaches to sea-ice studies, complicating comparisons of the results and the development of conceptual and numerical models to describe the important biogeochemical processes occurring in sea ice. Almost all chemical elements, compounds, and biogeochemical processes relevant to Earth system science are measured in sea ice, with published methods available for determining biomass, pigments, net community production, primary production, bacterial activity, macronutrients, numerous natural and anthropogenic organic compounds, trace elements, reactive and inert gases, sulfur species, the carbon dioxide system parameters, stable isotopes, and water-ice-atmosphere fluxes of gases, liquids, and solids. For most of these measurements, multiple sampling and processing techniques are available, but to date there has been little intercomparison or intercalibration between methods. In addition, researchers collect different types of ancillary data and document their samples differently, further confounding comparisons between studies. These problems are compounded by the heterogeneity of sea ice, in which even adjacent cores can have dramatically different biogeochemical compositions. We recommend that, in future investigations, researchers design their programs based on nested sampling patterns, collect a core suite of ancillary measurements, and employ a standard approach for sample identification and documentation. In addition, intercalibration exercises are most critically needed for measurements of biomass, primary production, nutrients, dissolved and particulate organic matter (including exopolymers), the CO2 system, air-ice gas fluxes, and aerosol production. We also encourage the development of in situ probes robust enough for long-term deployment in sea ice, particularly for biological parameters, the CO2 system, and other gases.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2015AREP; IA68
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene
Volume: 3
Page Range: 000038
Identification Number: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000038
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 20:58
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 20:58
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3910

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