On the influence of marine biogeochemical processes over CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and ocean


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Dieter.Wolf-Gladrow [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The ocean holds a large reservoir of carbon dioxide (CO2), and mitigates climate change through uptake of anthropogenic CO2. Fluxes of CO2 between the atmosphere and surface ocean are regulated by a number of physical and biogeochemical processes, resulting in a spatiotemporally heterogeneous CO2 distribution. Determining the influence of each individual process is useful for interpreting marine carbonate system ob- servations, and is also necessary to investigate how changes in these drivers could affect air-sea CO2 exchange. Biogeochemical processes exert an influence primarily through modifying seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) and total alkalinity (AT), thus changing the seawater partial pressure of CO2 (psw). Here, we propose a novel conceptual framework through which the size of the CO2 source or sink generated by any biogeochemical process, denoted Φ, can be evaluated. This is based on the ‘isocapnic quotient’ (Q), which defines the trajectory through (AT,CT) phase space for which there is no change in psw. We discuss the limitations and uncertainties inherent in this technique, which are negligible for most practical purposes, and its links with existing, related approaches. We investigate the effect on Φ of spatiotemporal heterogeneity in Q in the present day surface ocean for several key biogeochemical processes. This leads the magnitude of the CO2 source or sink generated by processes that modify AT to vary spatiotemporally. Finally, we consider how the strength of each process as a CO2 source or sink may change in a warmer, higher-CO2 future ocean.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
48954
DOI 10.1016/j.marchem.2017.12.006Humphreys

Cite as
Humphreys, M. , Daniels, C. , Wolf-Gladrow, D. , Tyrrell, T. and Achterberg, E. (2018): On the influence of marine biogeochemical processes over CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and ocean , Marine Chemistry, 199 , pp. 1-11 . doi: 10.1016/j.marchem.2017.12.006Humphreys


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