Date: Monday, September 26 @ 13:00:00 MDT
Topic: The Fate of Fossil-Fuel Emissions

by N. Gruber

Owing to the combination of greatly improved observational constraints and new data analysis and modeling techniques, our ability to constrain the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle has made great advances in the past decade. By combining ocean interior carbon data with ocean general circulation models in an inverse manner, we can constrain the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 to within an unprecedented narrow range of 2.20±0.25 Pg C yr-1 for a nominal year of 1995. The inversely estimated pre-industrial air-sea fluxes reveal the expected pattern with CO2 outgassing in the tropics and CO2 uptake at mid to high latitudes. The subpolar regions of the Southern Hemisphere defy this trend, exhibiting strong outgassing of natural CO2. This outgassing nearly cancels the large uptake of anthropogenic CO2 in this region, leading to a near zero net contemporary flux. The contemporary air-sea fluxes from the inversion agree reasonably well with flux estimates derived from ∆pCO2 observations, with the exception of the above subpolar regions, where our flux estimates are three to five times smaller. When analyzed together with the observed atmospheric CO2 gradients, our results support the existence of a substantial sink for atmospheric CO2 in the northern hemisphere terrestrial biosphere, and a terrestrial carbon loss in the tropics.

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This article comes from The 7th International CO2 Conference Web Site

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