Science Daily | Nitrogen In The Air Feeds The Oceans

A decade-long USC study has written the ending to a long-standing mystery: Where do marine organisms in the tropical oceans get the nitrogen they need to grow?

In the process, the study also may help to explain how tons of carbon dioxide disappear into the ocean every day, slowing the progress of global warming.

A team led by biological oceanographer Douglas Capone released the study, published recently in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, focused on the marine organism Trichodesmium, the best-known “fixer” of atmospheric nitrogen.

Though it is only one of many nitrogen fixers in the ocean, Trichodesmium’s contribution alone is nearly 10 times greater than previous estimates of oceanic N2 fixation worldwide.