Changes in ocean circulation and carbon storage are decoupled from air-sea CO2 fluxes
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The spatial distribution of the air-sea flux of carbon dioxide is a poor indicator of the underlying ocean circulation and of ocean carbon storage. The weak dependence on circulation arises because mixing-driven changes in solubility-driven and biologically-driven air-sea fluxes largely cancel out. This cancellation occurs because mixing driven increases in the poleward residual mean circulation result in more transport of both remineralized nutrients and heat from low to high latitudes. By contrast, increasing vertical mixing decreases the storage associated with both the biological and solubility pumps, as it decreases remineralized carbon storage in the deep ocean and warms the ocean as a whole.
© The Authors, 2011. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. The definitive version was published in Biogeosciences 8 (2011): 505-513, doi:10.5194/bg-8-505-2011.
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