Tracking the Variable North Atlantic Sink for Atmospheric CO2.

Watson, A. J., Schuster, U., Bakker, D. C. E., Bates, N. R., Corbière, A., González-Dávila, M., Friedrich, Tobias, Hauck, J., Heinze, C., Johannessen, T., Körtzinger, Arne , Metzl, N., Olafsson, J., Olsen, A., Oschlies, Andreas , Padin, X.A., Pfeil, B., Santana-Casiano, J.M., Steinhoff, Tobias, Telszewski, M., Rios, A.F., Wallace, Douglas W.R. and Wanninkhof, R. (2009) Tracking the Variable North Atlantic Sink for Atmospheric CO2. Science, 326 (5958). pp. 1391-1393. DOI 10.1126/science.1177394.

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The oceans are a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Historically, observations have been too sparse to allow accurate tracking of changes in rates of CO2 uptake over ocean basins, so little is known about how these vary. Here, we show observations indicating substantial variability in the CO2 uptake by the North Atlantic on time scales of a few years. Further, we use measurements from a coordinated network of instrumented commercial ships to define the annual flux into the North Atlantic, for the year 2005, to a precision of about 10%. This approach offers the prospect of accurately monitoring the changing ocean CO2 sink for those ocean basins that are well covered by shipping routes.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: North Atlantic, sink, atmospheric CO2
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1126/science.1177394
ISSN: 0036-8075
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 12:45
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:42

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