The Noble Sea Sponge and its Role in Global Carbon Cycling

Global cycling of chemicals and nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and silicon (Si) drive one of the most important biological processes on our planet, primary production and the removal of carbon from our atmosphere. What happens when the largest carbon and silicon sink isn’t actually as big as scientists originally thought? Chemical oceanographers Manuel Maldonado and his colleagues have come up with a new way to study the oceans most important chemical cycles and the surprisingly important role of the simple sea sponge.

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Marine Snow & Muddy Megacoring on the Southern Ocean

Our polar oceans and diatoms, a kind of microalgae, in particular play a major role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide. Led by oceanographers Dr. Rebecca Robinson and Dr. Mark Brzezinski, our SNOWBIRDS Transect team has been studying how the influence of nitrogen and silicon on the productivity of diatoms is recorded in sediments.

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