Ocean ecosystems play a critical role in the Earth’s carbon cycle and the quantification of their impacts for both present conditions and for predictions into the future remains one of the greatest challenges in oceanography. The goal of the EXport Processes in the Ocean from Remote Sensing (EXPORTS) Science Plan is to develop a predictive understanding of the export and fate of global ocean net primary production (NPP) and its implications for present and future climates. The achievement of this goal requires a quantification of the mechanisms that control the export of carbon from the euphotic zone as well as its fate in the underlying “twilight zone” where some fraction of exported carbon will be sequestered in the ocean’s interior on time scales of months to millennia. In particular, EXPORTS will advance satellite diagnostic and numerical prognostic models by comparing relationships among the ecological, biogeochemical and physical oceanographic processes that control carbon cycling across a range of ecosystem and carbon cycling states. EXPORTS will achieve this through a combination of ship and robotic field sampling, satellite remote sensing and numerical modeling. Through a coordinated, process-oriented approach, EXPORTS will foster new insights on ocean carbon cycling that maximizes its societal relevance through the achievement of U.S. and International research agency goals and will be a key step towards our understanding of the Earth as an integrated system.
Amy Maas is co-Principal Investigator on the EXPORTS project "Zooplankton-Mediated Export Pathways: Quantifying Fecal Pellet Export and Active Transport by Diel and Ontogenic Vertical Migration in the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans."
Read more about Amy Maas' role in the EXPORTS project here