Time Series Analysis of Phytoplankton and Sea Ice in the Barents Sea
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The Arctic is undergoing rapid environmental change due to a synergy of environmental factors, such as rising temperature, warm water advection and decreasing sea ice (IPCC, 2014). However, the biological response to this change is not as well documented (Arrigo et al., 2008). Satellite-based studies have enabled the quantification of Arctic Net Primary Production (NPP), indicating a rapid increase (Pabi et al., 2008; Arrigo & van Dijken, 2015). However, there is still a limited understanding of the spatiotemporal distribution of NPP in the Barents Sea. This study investigates the suitability of satellite monitoring in identifying changes to NPP in the Barents Sea. NPP is modelled for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 using the Vertically Generalised Production Model and an Arctic Ocean modified version in relation to sea ice change using the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Aqua (MODIS). This identified that the largest peak NPP rate was observed in 2016, the year with the lowest sea ice extent. 2017 and 2018 peak NPP were identified to have occurred in areas experiencing sea ice retreat whereas in 2016 the bloom occurred further into open water. Overall the research provided a high-resolution temporal analysis of the entire Barents Sea that improved the spatiotemporal understanding of phytoplankton dynamics in the rapidly changing Arctic.