Impact of climate change and variability on the global oceanic sink of CO2

Le Quere, C, Takahashi, T, Buitenhuis, ET, Rodenbeck, C and Sutherland, SC (2010) Impact of climate change and variability on the global oceanic sink of CO2. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 24 (4). GB4007. ISSN 1944-9224

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Abstract

About one quarter of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere by human activities is absorbed annually by the ocean. All the processes that influence the oceanic uptake of CO2 are controlled by climate. Hence changes in climate (both natural and human-induced) are expected to alter the uptake of CO2 by the ocean. However, available information that constrains the direction, magnitude, or rapidity of the response of ocean CO2 to changes in climate is limited. We present an analysis of oceanic CO2 trends for 1981 to 2007 from data and a model. Our analysis suggests that the global ocean responded to recent changes in climate by outgassing some preindustrial carbon, in part compensating the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2. Using a model, we estimate that climate change and variability reduced the CO2 uptake by 12% compared to a simulation where constant climate is imposed, and offset 63% of the trend in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 alone. The response is caused by changes in wind patterns and ocean warming, with important nonlinear effects that amplify the response of oceanic CO2 to changes in climate by > 30%.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climatic Change
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rachel Snow
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2011 12:05
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 14:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/24230
DOI: 10.1029/2009GB003599

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