|The authors thoroughly revised the manuscript in light of the reviewer comments and these revisions improved the manuscript. The authors have taken care to carefully reference their introduction and discussion and have tied their findings more closely to the literature in the revised version. The amount of data presented is mind-boggling for the area of study, and the carefully prepared figures and tables nicely illustrate the data. The rich data set is not easy to summarize in a narrative and discussion, yielding the flow of the text a bit bumpy at times, though much improved over the earlier version.|
Minor editing suggestions are primarily correcting grammar and syntax errors:
Introduction L5 Reword ‘which is in turn controlled by light ...’
L7 Reword ‘Only the annual new production, however, leaves...’
L8 ‘as it represents’ should perhaps rather read something like ‘and is reduced by pelagic remineralization that reduces benthic food supply’?
Methods 2.2. l15. Why short term examinations? Presumably the data were analyzed with enough time at hand. Rather ‘Three time periods were chosen for analysis of sea ice concentrations’?
Results 3.2 l19. The reader needs to hop back and forth between table 1 (to find the depths) and table 3 (and 2 for that matter) to understand the text. While adding yet another line into the table, adding in depths into the header underneath the stations names would make it easier to read the table. (And in Table 1, I doubt the depth values make sense to give in decimal meters, round to 1 m). Table 3: explain abbreviations in table caption (CPE, FDA etc.) – tables should be understood by themselves.
L26 ff. For all other properties, the lowest value is given first, then the highest, would be nice to be consistent here.
P12 l3 I am not sure why the data indicate that the food is received at the same time in the two ice regimes, please explain.
3.3. l25 Need adverb: ‘able to rework the sediment more strongly than’ or ‘to a larger degree than’
3.4 p13 l34 Spell out DOU first time used. P14 l8 TOU should be spelled out the first time mentioned, not after it has been mentioned several times.
3.5. l24. Replace ‘in turn’ with ‘consequently,’ l29 delete comma after correlated with
P15 l14 I’d say ‘essentially no difference between the HSC and LSC’ (R is very low, but not zero)
P15 l20 I’d say ‘could at least partly explain’ given the rather moderate R value
P16L31 Sentence starting with however is missing a verb – or tie to previous sentence.
P17l Use plural: ‘shows correlations which do not’
P17l18 Why ‘lower’, lower than what? Just ‘low’ I suggest. L21 singular ‘remineralization responds’
4.2. l8 Rather ‘The new production ... is estimated at 55 g ... ‘
L16 Typo ‘reaching’
P18 l30 ff Add to the caution that the flux rates also have some error associated with them.
Discussion 4.2: Would Renaud’s measurements of respiration and Link’s nutrient / oxygen fluxes from the Beaufort Sea provide some insights here?
4.3. l18 I perceive the Boetius study as presenting vertical flux of quite labile material. The four cited studies may be predicting contradicting trends, perhaps acknowledge here that people don’t necessarily agree on the net outcome of production, flux and the amount of labile matter reaching benthic communities in the future.
P19l23 Singular: nutrient supply increases. Period ‘.’ after primary production. P20 l13 If ‘its’ refers to observations it should read ‘their’
P19l13 ff I do not follow the logic. This paper is based on a time series. The last paragraph is essentially redundant with what was stated earlier and not really necessary.
All figure captions: Abbreviations should be explained.