Near-surface stratification due to ice melt biases Arctic air-sea CO2 flux estimates

Dong, Yuanxu ORCID:, Yang, Mingxi, Bakker, Dorothee C. E. ORCID:, Liss, Peter S., Kitidis, Vassilis, Brown, Ian, Chierici, Melissa, Fransson, Agneta and Bell, Thomas G. (2021) Near-surface stratification due to ice melt biases Arctic air-sea CO2 flux estimates. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (22). ISSN 0094-8276

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Air-sea carbon dioxide (CO2) flux is generally estimated by the bulk method using upper ocean CO2 fugacity measurements. In the summertime Arctic, sea-ice melt results in stratification within the upper ocean (top ∼10 m), which can bias bulk CO2 flux estimates when the seawater CO2 fugacity is taken from a ship’s seawater inlet at ∼6 m depth (fCO2w_bulk). Direct flux measurements by eddy covariance are unaffected by near-surface stratification. We use eddy covariance CO2 flux measurements to infer sea surface CO2 fugacity (fCO2w_surface) in the Arctic Ocean. In sea-ice melt regions, fCO2w_surface values are consistently lower than fCO2w_bulk by an average of 39 µatm. Lower fCO2w_surface can be partially accounted for by fresher (≥ 27%) and colder (17%) melt waters. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that neglecting the summertime sea-ice melt could lead to a 6–17% underestimate of the annual Arctic Ocean CO2 uptake.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Climatic Research Unit
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2021 01:51
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2023 23:59
DOI: 10.1029/2021GL095266

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