Rapid decline of the CO2 buffering capacity in the North Sea and implications for the North Atlantic Ocean
Prowe, A. E. Friederike
van Heuven, Steven
Baar, Hein J. W. de
Borges, Alberto V.
Lima, Ivan D.
Doney, Scott C.
MetadataShow full item record
New observations from the North Sea, a NW European shelf sea, show that between 2001 and 2005 the CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) in surface waters rose by 22 μatm, thus faster than atmospheric pCO2, which in the same period rose approximately 11 μatm. The surprisingly rapid decline in air-sea partial pressure difference (ΔpCO2) is primarily a response to an elevated water column inventory of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), which, in turn, reflects mostly anthropogenic CO2 input rather than natural interannual variability. The resulting decline in the buffering capacity of the inorganic carbonate system (increasing Revelle factor) sets up a theoretically predicted feedback loop whereby the invasion of anthropogenic CO2 reduces the ocean's ability to uptake additional CO2. Model simulations for the North Atlantic Ocean and thermodynamic principles reveal that this feedback should be stronger, at present, in colder midlatitude and subpolar waters because of the lower present-day buffer capacity and elevated DIC levels driven either by northward advected surface water and/or excess local air-sea CO2 uptake. This buffer capacity feedback mechanism helps to explain at least part of the observed trend of decreasing air-sea ΔpCO2 over time as reported in several other recent North Atlantic studies.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles 21 (2007): GB4001, doi:10.1029/2006GB002825.
Suggested CitationGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles 21 (2007): GB4001
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Tracing the Nd isotope evolution of North Atlantic Deep and Intermediate Waters in the western North Atlantic since the Last Glacial Maximum from Blake Ridge sediments Gutjahr, Marcus; Frank, Martin; Stirling, Claudine H.; Keigwin, Lloyd D.; Halliday, Alex N. (2007-10-23)A high-resolution authigenic Nd isotope record has been extracted from the Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide fraction of drift sediments along the Blake Ridge in the North Atlantic. These sediments facilitate reconstruction of the timing ...
The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation on the uptake and accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 by North Atlantic Ocean mode waters Levine, Naomi M.; Doney, Scott C.; Lima, Ivan D.; Wanninkhof, Rik; Bates, Nicholas R.; Feely, Richard A. (American Geophysical Union, 2011-09-21)The North Atlantic Ocean accounts for about 25% of the global oceanic anthropogenic carbon sink. This basin experiences significant interannual variability primarily driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). A suite ...
A science plan for a collaborative international research program on the coupled North Atlantic-Arctic system, a report of a Planning Workshop for an International Research Program on the Coupled North Atlantic-Arctic System developed from a workshop held in Arlington, VA 14-16 April 2014 Hofmann, Eileen E.; St. John, Mike; Benway, Heather M. (Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry Program, 2015)This North Atlantic-Arctic science plan is derived from an international workshop held in April 2014 with support from the National Science Foundation Division of Ocean Sciences and the European Union (EU). The workshop ...