Liang Chujin

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  • Article
    Effects of typhoons on surface seawater pCO(2) and air-sea CO2 fluxes in the Northern South China Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-08-03) Yu, Peisong ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Churchill, James H. ; Zheng, Minhui ; Pan, Jianming ; Bai, Yan ; Liang, Chujin
    This study assessed the effects of typhoons on sea surface pCO2 and CO2 flux in the northern South China Sea (SCS). During the passage of three major typhoons from May to August 2013, sea surface pCO2, surface seawater temperature (SST), and other meteorological parameters were continuously measured on a moored buoy. Surface water in the region was a source of CO2 to the atmosphere with large variations ranging from hours to months. SST was the primary factor controlling the variation of surface pCO2 through most of the time period. Typhoons are seen to impact surface pCO2 in three steps: first by cooling, thus decreasing surface pCO2, and then by causing vertical mixing that brings up deep, high‐CO2 water, and lastly triggering net uptake of CO2 due to the nutrients brought up in this deep water. The typhoons of this study primarily impacted air‐sea CO2 flux via increasing wind speeds. The mean CO2 flux during a typhoon ranged from 3.6 to 5.4 times the pretyphoon mean flux. The magnitude of the CO2 flux during typhoons was strongly inversely correlated with the typhoon center distance. The effect of typhoons accounted for 22% of the total CO2 flux in the study period, during which typhoons occurred only 9% of the time. It was estimated that typhoons enhanced annual CO2 efflux by 23–56% in the northern SCS during the last decade. As such, tropical cyclones may play a large and increasingly important role in controlling CO2 fluxes in a warmer and stormier ocean of the future.