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.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Keigwin, Lloyd D.; Cook, Mea S. (American Geophysical Union, 2007-07-11)A simple ocean/atmosphere feedback may reduce the amplitude of climate variability in around the North Atlantic during interglacial compared to glacial states. When climate is warm in the North Atlantic region, the ...
Changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation influence CO2 uptake in the North Atlantic over the past 2 decades Thomas, Helmuth; Prowe, A. E. Friederike; Lima, Ivan D.; Doney, Scott C.; Wanninkhof, Rik; Greatbatch, Richard J.; Schuster, Ute; Corbiere, Antoine (American Geophysical Union, 2008-12-31)Observational studies report a rapid decline of ocean CO2 uptake in the temperate North Atlantic during the last decade. We analyze these findings using ocean physical-biological numerical simulations forced with interannually ...
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 ...