Key Robert M.

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Robert M.

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  • Article
    Correction to “Using altimetry to help explain patchy changes in hydrographic carbon measurements”
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-12-09) Rodgers, Keith B. ; Key, Robert M. ; Gnanadesikan, Anand ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Aumont, Olivier ; Bopp, Laurent ; Doney, Scott C. ; Dunne, John P. ; Glover, David M. ; Ishida, Akio ; Ishii, Masao ; Jacobson, Andrew R. ; Monaco, Claire Lo ; Maier-Reimer, Ernst ; Mercier, Herlé ; Metzl, Nicolas ; Perez, Fiz F. ; Rios, Aida F. ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Wetzel, Patrick ; Winn, Christopher D. ; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro
  • Article
    Dissolved organic radiocarbon in the central Pacific Ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-05-02) Druffel, Ellen R. M. ; Griffin, Sheila ; Wang, Ning ; Garcia, Noreen G. ; McNichol, Ann P. ; Key, Robert M. ; Walker, Brett D.
    We report marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, and DOC ∆14C and δ13C values in seawater collected from the central Pacific. Surface ∆14C values are low in equatorial and polar regions where upwelling occurs and high in subtropical regions dominated by downwelling. A core feature of these data is that 14C aging of DOC (682 ± 86 14C years) and dissolved inorganic carbon (643 ± 40 14C years) in Antarctic Bottom Water between 54.0°S and 53.5°N are similar. These estimates of aging are minimum values due to mixing with deep waters. We also observe minimum ∆14C values (−550‰ to −570‰) between the depths of 2,000 and 3,500 m in the North Pacific, though the source of the low values cannot be determined at this time.
  • Article
    Dissolved organic radiocarbon in the eastern Pacific and Southern Oceans
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-05-24) Druffel, Ellen R. M. ; Griffin, Sheila ; Lewis, Christian B. ; Rudresh, Megha ; Garcia, Noreen G. ; Key, Robert M. ; McNichol, Ann P. ; Hauksson, Niels E. ; Walker, Brett D.
    We report marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, and DOC Δ14C and δ13C values in seawater collected from the Southern Ocean and eastern Pacific GOSHIP cruise P18 in 2016/2017. The aging of 14C in DOC in circumpolar deep water northward from 69°S to 20°N was similar to that measured in dissolved inorganic carbon in the same samples, indicating that the transport of deep waters northward is the primary control of 14C in DIC and DOC. Low DOC ∆14C and δ13C measurements between 1,200 and 3,400 m depth may be evidence of a source of DOC produced in nearby hydrothermal ridge systems (East Pacific Rise).
  • Article
    Radiocarbon measurements in the Indian Ocean aboard RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer
    (The Oceanography Society, 2012-09) Key, Robert M. ; McNichol, Ann P.
    Research Vessel Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer departed Cape Town, South Africa, on May 3, 1996, to complete the Indian Ocean portion of the "S04" line, a circumnavigation of Antarctica that was part of the US contribution to the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). The WOCE Line S04I voyage ended at Hobart, Tasmania, on July 4, 1996, following completion of 108 stations, despite suspension of science operations for seven days on June 8, when the Palmer was diverted to deliver emergency food supplies to Russia's Mirny Station in the Davis Sea. During this extreme south cruise, with Thomas Whitworth III (Texas A&M University) and James H. Swift (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) as co-chief scientists, a total of 816 radiocarbon samples were collected by author Key at 31 stations, and these samples were later analyzed by author McNichol at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
  • Article
    Supercooled Southern Ocean waters
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-10-09) Haumann, F. Alexander ; Moorman, Ruth ; Riser, Stephen C. ; Smedsrud, Lars H. ; Maksym, Ted ; Wong, Annie P. S. ; Wilson, Earle A. ; Drucker, Robert S. ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Johnson, Kenneth S. ; Key, Robert M. ; Sarmiento, Jorge L.
    In cold polar waters, temperatures sometimes drop below the freezing point, a process referred to as supercooling. However, observational challenges in polar regions limit our understanding of the spatial and temporal extent of this phenomenon. We here provide observational evidence that supercooled waters are much more widespread in the seasonally ice‐covered Southern Ocean than previously reported. In 5.8% of all analyzed hydrographic profiles south of 55°S, we find temperatures below the surface freezing point (“potential” supercooling), and half of these have temperatures below the local freezing point (“in situ” supercooling). Their occurrence doubles when neglecting measurement uncertainties. We attribute deep coastal‐ocean supercooling to melting of Antarctic ice shelves and surface‐induced supercooling in the seasonal sea‐ice region to wintertime sea‐ice formation. The latter supercooling type can extend down to the permanent pycnocline due to convective sinking plumes—an important mechanism for vertical tracer transport and water‐mass structure in the polar ocean.
  • Preprint
    Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms
    ( 2005-07-29) Orr, James C. ; Fabry, Victoria J. ; Aumont, Olivier ; Bopp, Laurent ; Doney, Scott C. ; Feely, Richard A. ; Gnanadesikan, Anand ; Gruber, Nicolas ; Ishida, Akio ; Joos, Fortunat ; Key, Robert M. ; Lindsay, Keith ; Maier-Reimer, Ernst ; Matear, Richard J. ; Monfray, Patrick ; Mouchet, Anne ; Najjar, Raymond G. ; Plattner, Gian-Kasper ; Rodgers, Keith B. ; Sabine, Christopher L. ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Schlitzer, Reiner ; Slater, Richard D. ; Totterdell, Ian J. ; Weirig, Marie-France ; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro ; Yool, Andrew
    The surface ocean is everywhere saturated with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Yet increasing atmospheric CO2 reduces ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations [CO32−] and thus the level of saturation. Reduced saturation states are expected to affect marine calcifiers even though it has been estimated that all surface waters will remain saturated for centuries. Here we show, however, that some surface waters will become undersaturated within decades. When atmospheric CO2 reaches 550 ppmv, in year 2050 under the IS92a business-as-usual scenario, Southern Ocean surface waters begin to become undersaturated with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of CaCO3. By 2100 as atmospheric CO2 reaches 788 ppmv, undersaturation extends throughout the entire Southern Ocean (< 60°S) and into the subarctic Pacific. These changes will threaten high-latitude aragonite secreting organisms including cold-water corals, which provide essential fish habitat, and shelled pteropods, an abundant food source for marine predators.
  • Article
    Global ocean radiocarbon programs
    (Cambridge University Press, 2022-04-21) McNichol, Ann P. ; Key, Robert M. ; Guilderson, Thomas P.
    The importance of studying the radiocarbon content of dissolved inorganic carbon (DI14C) in the oceans has been recognized for decades. Starting with the GEOSECS program in the 1970s, 14C sampling has been a part of most global survey programs. Early results were used to study air-sea gas exchange while the more recent results are critical for helping calibrate ocean general circulation models used to study the effects of climate change. Here we summarize the major programs and discuss some of the important insights the results are starting to provide.
  • Article
    Evaluation of ocean carbon cycle models with data-based metrics
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-04-02) Matsumoto, K. ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Key, Robert M. ; Aumont, Olivier ; Bullister, John L. ; Caldeira, Ken ; Campin, J.-M. ; Doney, Scott C. ; Drange, Helge ; Dutay, J.-C. ; Follows, Michael J. ; Gao, Y. ; Gnanadesikan, Anand ; Gruber, Nicolas ; Ishida, Akio ; Joos, Fortunat ; Lindsay, Keith ; Maier-Reimer, Ernst ; Marshall, John C. ; Matear, Richard J. ; Monfray, Patrick ; Mouchet, Anne ; Najjar, Raymond G. ; Plattner, Gian-Kasper ; Schlitzer, Reiner ; Slater, Richard D. ; Swathi, P. S. ; Totterdell, Ian J. ; Weirig, Marie-France ; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro ; Yool, Andrew ; Orr, James C.
    New radiocarbon and chlorofluorocarbon-11 data from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment are used to assess a suite of 19 ocean carbon cycle models. We use the distributions and inventories of these tracers as quantitative metrics of model skill and find that only about a quarter of the suite is consistent with the new data-based metrics. This should serve as a warning bell to the larger community that not all is well with current generation of ocean carbon cycle models. At the same time, this highlights the danger in simply using the available models to represent the state-of-the-art modeling without considering the credibility of each model.
  • Article
    Using altimetry to help explain patchy changes in hydrographic carbon measurements
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-09-18) Rodgers, Keith B. ; Key, Robert M. ; Gnanadesikan, Anand ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Aumont, Olivier ; Bopp, Laurent ; Doney, Scott C. ; Dunne, John P. ; Glover, David M. ; Ishida, Akio ; Ishii, Masao ; Jacobson, Andrew R. ; Monaco, Claire Lo ; Maier-Reimer, Ernst ; Mercier, Herlé ; Metzl, Nicolas ; Perez, Fiz F. ; Rios, Aida F. ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Wetzel, Patrick ; Winn, Christopher D. ; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro
    Here we use observations and ocean models to identify mechanisms driving large seasonal to interannual variations in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and dissolved oxygen (O2) in the upper ocean. We begin with observations linking variations in upper ocean DIC and O2 inventories with changes in the physical state of the ocean. Models are subsequently used to address the extent to which the relationships derived from short-timescale (6 months to 2 years) repeat measurements are representative of variations over larger spatial and temporal scales. The main new result is that convergence and divergence (column stretching) attributed to baroclinic Rossby waves can make a first-order contribution to DIC and O2 variability in the upper ocean. This results in a close correspondence between natural variations in DIC and O2 column inventory variations and sea surface height (SSH) variations over much of the ocean. Oceanic Rossby wave activity is an intrinsic part of the natural variability in the climate system and is elevated even in the absence of significant interannual variability in climate mode indices. The close correspondence between SSH and both DIC and O2 column inventories for many regions suggests that SSH changes (inferred from satellite altimetry) may prove useful in reducing uncertainty in separating natural and anthropogenic DIC signals (using measurements from Climate Variability and Predictability's CO2/Repeat Hydrography program).
  • Article
    A model of the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle
    (American Geophysical Union, 2011-12-15) Manizza, Manfredi ; Follows, Michael J. ; Dutkiewicz, Stephanie ; Menemenlis, Dimitris ; McClelland, James W. ; Hill, C. N. ; Peterson, Bruce J. ; Key, Robert M.
    A three dimensional model of Arctic Ocean circulation and mixing, with a horizontal resolution of 18 km, is overlain by a biogeochemical model resolving the physical, chemical and biological transport and transformations of phosphorus, alkalinity, oxygen and carbon, including the air-sea exchange of dissolved gases and the riverine delivery of dissolved organic carbon. The model qualitatively captures the observed regional and seasonal trends in surface ocean PO4, dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity, and pCO2. Integrated annually, over the basin, the model suggests a net annual uptake of 59 Tg C a−1, within the range of published estimates based on the extrapolation of local observations (20–199 Tg C a−1). This flux is attributable to the cooling (increasing solubility) of waters moving into the basin, mainly from the subpolar North Atlantic. The air-sea flux is regulated seasonally and regionally by sea-ice cover, which modulates both air-sea gas transfer and the photosynthetic production of organic matter, and by the delivery of riverine dissolved organic carbon (RDOC), which drive the regional contrasts in pCO2 between Eurasian and North American coastal waters. Integrated over the basin, the delivery and remineralization of RDOC reduces the net oceanic CO2 uptake by ~10%.
  • Article
    A comprehensive global oceanic dataset of helium isotope and tritium measurements.
    (Copernicus Publications, 2019-04-05) Jenkins, William J. ; Doney, Scott C. ; Fendrock, Michaela ; Fine, Rana A. ; Gamo, Toshitaka ; Jean-Baptiste, Philippe ; Key, Robert M. ; Klein, Birgit ; Lupton, John E. ; Newton, Robert ; Rhein, Monika ; Roether, Wolfgang ; Sano, Yuji ; Schlitzer, Reiner ; Schlosser, Peter ; Swift, James H.
    Tritium and helium isotope data provide key information on ocean circulation, ventilation, and mixing, as well as the rates of biogeochemical processes and deep-ocean hydrothermal processes. We present here global oceanic datasets of tritium and helium isotope measurements made by numerous researchers and laboratories over a period exceeding 60 years. The dataset's DOI is, and the data are available at (last access: 15 March 2019) or alternately (last access: 13 March 2019) and includes approximately 60 000 valid tritium measurements, 63 000 valid helium isotope determinations, 57 000 dissolved helium concentrations, and 34 000 dissolved neon concentrations. Some quality control has been applied in that questionable data have been flagged and clearly compromised data excluded entirely. Appropriate metadata have been included, including geographic location, date, and sample depth. When available, we include water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. Data quality flags and data originator information (including methodology) are also included. This paper provides an introduction to the dataset along with some discussion of its broader qualities and graphics.
  • Preprint
    Changes in ocean heat, carbon content, and ventilation : a review of the first decade of GO-SHIP Global Repeat Hydrography
    ( 2015-05-30) Talley, Lynne D. ; Feely, Richard A. ; Sloyan, Bernadette M. ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Baringer, Molly O. ; Bullister, John L. ; Carlson, Craig A. ; Doney, Scott C. ; Fine, Rana A. ; Firing, Eric ; Gruber, Nicolas ; Hansell, Dennis A. ; Ishii, Masayoshi ; Johnson, Gregory ; Katsumata, K. ; Key, Robert M. ; Kramp, Martin ; Langdon, Chris ; Macdonald, Alison M. ; Mathis, Jeremy T. ; McDonagh, Elaine L. ; Mecking, Sabine ; Millero, Frank J. ; Mordy, Calvin W. ; Nakano, T. ; Sabine, Chris L. ; Smethie, William M. ; Swift, James H. ; Tanhua, Toste ; Thurnherr, Andreas M. ; Warner, Mark J. ; Zhang, Jia-Zhong
    The ocean, a central component of Earth’s climate system, is changing. Given the global scope of these changes, highly accurate measurements of physical and biogeochemical properties need to be conducted over the full water column, spanning the ocean basins from coast to coast, and repeated every decade at a minimum, with a ship-based observing system. Since the late 1970s, when the Geochemical Ocean Sections Study (GEOSECS) conducted the first global survey of this kind, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS), and now the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) have collected these “reference standard” data that allow quantification of ocean heat and carbon uptake, and variations in salinity, oxygen, nutrients, and acidity on basin scales. The evolving GO-SHIP measurement suite also provides new global information about dissolved organic carbon, a large bioactive reservoir of carbon.