An atmospheric constraint on the seasonal Air-Sea exchange of oxygen and heat in the extratropics

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Morgan, Eric J.
Manizza, Manfredi
Keeling, Ralph F.
Resplandy, Laure
Mikaloff Fletcher, Sara E.
Nevison, Cynthia D.
Jin, Yuming
Bent, Jonathan D.
Aumont, Olivier
Doney, Scott C.
Dunne, John P.
John, Jasmin G.
Lima, Ivan D.
Long, Matthew C.
Rodgers, Keith B.
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The air-sea exchange of oxygen (O2) is driven by changes in solubility, biological activity, and circulation. The total air-sea exchange of O2 has been shown to be closely related to the air-sea exchange of heat on seasonal timescales, with the ratio of the seasonal flux of O2 to heat varying with latitude, being higher in the extratropics and lower in the subtropics. This O2/heat ratio is both a fundamental biogeochemical property of air-sea exchange and a convenient metric for testing earth system models. Current estimates of the O2/heat flux ratio rely on sparse observations of dissolved O2, leaving it fairly unconstrained. From a model ensemble we show that the ratio of the seasonal amplitude of two atmospheric tracers, atmospheric potential oxygen (APO) and the argon-to-nitrogen ratio (Ar/O2), exhibits a close relationship to the O2/heat ratio of the extratropics (40–70°). The amplitude ratio, A APO/A ArN2, is relatively constant within the extratropics of each hemisphere due to the zonal mixing of the atmosphere. A APO/A ArN2 is not sensitive to atmospheric transport, as most of the observed spatial variability in the seasonal amplitude of δAPO is compensated by similar variations in δ(Ar/N2). From the relationship between O2/heat and A APO/A ArN2 in the model ensemble, we determine that the atmospheric observations suggest hemispherically distinct O2/heat flux ratios of 3.3 ± 0.3 and 4.7 ± 0.8 nmol J-1 between 40 and 70° in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres respectively, providing a useful constraint for O2 and heat air-sea fluxes in earth system models and observation-based data products.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2021. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 126(8), (2021): e2021JC017510,
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Morgan, E. J., Manizza, M., Keeling, R. F., Resplandy, L., Mikaloff-Fletcher, S. E., Nevison, C. D., Jin, Y., Bent, J. D., Aumont, O., Doney, S. C., Dunne, J. P., John, J., Lima, I. D., Long, M. C., & Rodgers, K. B. (2021). An atmospheric constraint on the seasonal Air-Sea exchange of oxygen and heat in the extratropics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126(8), e2021JC017510.
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