The variation in the phytoplankton biomass over a decadal time scale, and its relationship with the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW) and climate change, has been poorly interpreted because of the limited satellite chlorophylla (chl a) data compared with the physical parameters from satellite. We analysed a long-term chl a dataset along the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) cruise tracks since 1965 to investigate inter-annual variation of phytoplankton biomass. In the Southern Ocean, increasing trends of chl a and the spreading of higher chl a area to the north with 3-7 year cycles were found. Although relationships between the decadal change in chl a and climate change such as variation of sea ice extent and the El Nino are still obscure, large variation of primary production in proportion to the chl a is implied.
The chl a concentration of sea surface water has been measured routinely on board the icebreakers Fuji and Shirase during almost every cruise of the JARE. The download file contains chlorophyll a data collected from ship tracks on JARE voyages between 1965 and 2002. The field in this dataset are: Date (local time) Year Latitude Longitude Corrected Chlorophyll a See the attached paper for more details.