Atmospheric Sciences Editors' Highlights

Tropical Cyclone Induced Increase in Ocean Primary Production

A positive trend in tropical cyclone induced ocean mixing and primary production is compensating the overall decline in global primary production due to anthropogenic climate change.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters


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Tropical cyclones’ strong winds are associated with ocean mixing and cold wakes. The cold water that is brought to the surface is rich in nutrients and can trigger photosynthesis that can be observed by satellites. Using satellite, Da et al. [2021] show that there are statistically significant trends in sea surface temperature cooling and primary production associated with tropical cyclones in the past 35 years. Furthermore, this tropical cyclone-induced increase in ocean primary production has partially mitigated the overall decline in primary production due to anthropogenic climate change.

Citation: Da, N. D., Foltz, G. R., & Balaguru, K. [2021]. Observed global increases in tropical cyclone-induced ocean cooling and primary production. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL092574. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL092574

—Suzana Camargo, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters

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