Upwelling, Coastal

COASTAL UPWELLING OCCURS when water along a coastline flows offshore and deeper water—usually relatively cool, rich in nutrients, and high in partial pressure of carbon dioxide—flows upward to fill its place. Upwelling areas are notable for their effect on carbon cycling, as upwelling not only brings dissolved inorganic carbon to the surface, where it is released into the atmosphere, but also stimulates phytoplank-ton blooms that further remove some of that carbon through photosynthesis; a small percentage of this bloom also sinks in the form of organic matter (organic carbon) to deep water and becomes buried in sediment, creating a long-term carbon sink. There is considerable interest among carbon-cycle scientists regarding the reciprocal interactions between upwelling systems and climate change. Although such upwelling can in principle ...

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