An estimate of the global distribution of radon emissions from the ocean
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There is a need for improved estimates of the radon (222Rn) flux density from the ocean for use in the modeling and interpretation of atmospheric radon in global climate and air pollution studies. We use a modification of a frequently used model of gas transfer to generate global predictions of ocean radon flux density for each month of the year (climate averaged) on a 192 by 94 global grid. Compared with the often-used approximation of a constant radon flux from the ocean, the model's predictions indicate large variations over regions of the ocean (a factor of ten is not uncommon). For example, latitude bands near the equator and Southern Ocean are predicted to emit relatively high average radon flux compared with other latitude bands. The predicted annually-averaged flux density from the ocean is 0.0382 mBq m−2 s−1 (0.00182 atoms cm−2 s−1), smaller than some commonly-used estimates.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 31 (2004): L19104, doi:10.1029/2004GL021051.