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See detailDissolved inorganic carbon dynamics and air-sea carbon dioxide fluxes during coccolithophore blooms in the northwest European continental margin (northern Bay of Biscay)
Suykens, Kim; Delille, Bruno ULg; Chou, Lei et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2010), 24

We report a data set of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) obtained during three cruises in the northern Bay of Biscay carried out in June 2006, May 2007, and May 2008. During these cruises, blooms of the ... [more ▼]

We report a data set of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) obtained during three cruises in the northern Bay of Biscay carried out in June 2006, May 2007, and May 2008. During these cruises, blooms of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi occurred, as indicated by patches of high reflectance on remote sensing images, phytoplankton pigment signatures, and microscopic examinations. Total alkalinity showed a nonconservative behavior as a function of salinity due to the cumulative effect of net community calcification (NCC) on seawater carbonate chemistry during bloom development. The cumulative effect of NCC and net community production (NCP) on DIC and the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO(2)) were evaluated. The decrease of DIC (and increase of pCO(2)) due to NCC was overwhelmingly lower than the decrease of DIC (and decrease of pCO(2)) due to NCP (NCC: NCP << 1). During the cruises, the northern Bay of Biscay acted as a sink of atmospheric CO2 (on average similar to-9.7 mmol C m(-2) d(-1) for the three cruises). The overall effect of NCC in decreasing the CO2 sink during the cruises was low (on average similar to 12% of total air-sea CO2 flux). If this is a general feature in naturally occurring phytoplankton blooms in the North Atlantic Ocean (where blooms of coccolithophores are the most intense and recurrent), and in the global ocean, then the potential feedback on increasing atmospheric CO2 of the projected decrease of pelagic calcification due to thermodynamic CO2 "production" from calcification is probably minor compared to potential feedbacks related to changes of NCP. [less ▲]

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See detailOceanic sources, sinks, and transport of atmospheric CO2
Gruber, Nicolas; Gloor, Manuel; Fletcher, Sara E Mikaloff et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2009), 23

We synthesize estimates of the contemporary net air-sea CO2 flux on the basis of an inversion of interior ocean carbon observations using a suite of 10 ocean general circulation models (Mikaloff Fletcher ... [more ▼]

We synthesize estimates of the contemporary net air-sea CO2 flux on the basis of an inversion of interior ocean carbon observations using a suite of 10 ocean general circulation models (Mikaloff Fletcher et al., 2006, 2007) and compare them to estimates based on a new climatology of the air-sea difference of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO(2)) (Takahashi et al., 2008). These two independent flux estimates reveal a consistent description of the regional distribution of annual mean sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 for the decade of the 1990s and the early 2000s with differences at the regional level of generally less than 0.1 Pg C a(-1). This distribution is characterized by outgassing in the tropics, uptake in midlatitudes, and comparatively small fluxes in the high latitudes. Both estimates point toward a small(similar to -0.3 Pg C a(-1)) contemporary CO2 sink in the Southern Ocean (south of 44 degrees S), a result of the near cancellation between a substantial outgassing of natural CO2 and a strong uptake of anthropogenic CO2. A notable exception in the generally good agreement between the two estimates exists within the Southern Ocean: the ocean inversion suggests a relatively uniform uptake, while the pCO(2)-based estimate suggests strong uptake in the region between 58 degrees S and 44 degrees S, and a source in the region south of 58 degrees S. Globally and for a nominal period between 1995 and 2000, the contemporary net air-sea flux of CO2 is estimated to be -1.7 +/- 0.4 Pg C a(-1) (inversion) and -1.4 +/- 0.7 Pg C a(-1) (pCO(2)-climatology), respectively, consisting of an outgassing flux of river-derived carbon of similar to+0.5 Pg C a(-1), and an uptake flux of anthropogenic carbon of -2.2 +/- 0.3 Pg C a(-1) (inversion) and -1.9 +/- 0.7 Pg C a(-1) (pCO(2)-climatology). The two flux estimates also imply a consistent description of the contemporary meridional transport of carbon with southward ocean transport throughout most of the Atlantic basin, and strong equatorward convergence in the Indo-Pacific basins. Both transport estimates suggest a small hemispheric asymmetry with a southward transport of between -0.2 and -0.3 Pg C a(-1) across the equator. While the convergence of these two independent estimates is encouraging and suggests that it is now possible to provide relatively tight constraints for the net air-sea CO2 fluxes at the regional basis, both studies are limited by their lack of consideration of long-term changes in the ocean carbon cycle, such as the recent possible stalling in the expected growth of the Southern Ocean carbon sink. [less ▲]

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See detailMangrove production and carbon sinks: a revision of global budget estimates
Bouillon, Steven; Borges, Alberto ULg; Castañeda-Moya, Edward et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2008), 22(GB2013),

Mangrove forests are highly productive but globally threatened coastal ecosystems, whose role in the carbon budget of the coastal zone has long been debated. Here we provide a comprehensive synthesis of ... [more ▼]

Mangrove forests are highly productive but globally threatened coastal ecosystems, whose role in the carbon budget of the coastal zone has long been debated. Here we provide a comprehensive synthesis of the available data on carbon fluxes in mangrove ecosystems. A reassessment of global mangrove primary production from the literature results in a conservative estimate of 218 ± 72 Tg C a 1. When using the best available estimates of various carbon sinks (organic carbon export, sediment burial, and mineralization), it appears that >50% of the carbon fixed by mangrove vegetation is unaccounted for. This unaccounted carbon sink is conservatively estimated at 112 ± 85 Tg C a 1, equivalent in magnitude to 30–40% of the global riverine organic carbon input to the coastal zone. Our analysis suggests that mineralization is severely underestimated, and that the majority of carbon export from mangroves to adjacent waters occurs as dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). CO2 efflux from sediments and creek waters and tidal export of DIC appear to be the major sinks. These processes are quantitatively comparable in magnitude to the unaccounted carbon sink in current budgets, but are not yet adequately constrained with the limited published data available so far. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of circulation on export production, dissolved organic matter, and dissolved oxygen in the ocean: Results from Phase II of the Ocean Carbon-cycle Model Intercomparison Project (OCMIP-2)
Najjar, R. G.; Jin, X.; Louanchi, F. et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2007), 21(3),

Results are presented of export production, dissolved organic matter (DOM) and dissolved oxygen simulated by 12 global ocean models participating in the second phase of the Ocean Carbon-cycle Model ... [more ▼]

Results are presented of export production, dissolved organic matter (DOM) and dissolved oxygen simulated by 12 global ocean models participating in the second phase of the Ocean Carbon-cycle Model Intercomparison Project. A common, simple biogeochemical model is utilized in different coarse-resolution ocean circulation models. The model mean (+/- 1 sigma) downward flux of organic matter across 75 m depth is 17 +/- 6 Pg C yr(-1). Model means of globally averaged particle export, the fraction of total export in dissolved form, surface semilabile dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and seasonal net outgassing (SNO) of oxygen are in good agreement with observation-based estimates, but particle export and surface DOC are too high in the tropics. There is a high sensitivity of the results to circulation, as evidenced by (1) the correlation of surface DOC and export with circulation metrics, including chlorofluorocarbon inventory and deep-ocean radiocarbon, (2) very large intermodel differences in Southern Ocean export, and (3) greater export production, fraction of export as DOM, and SNO in models with explicit mixed layer physics. However, deep-ocean oxygen, which varies widely among the models, is poorly correlated with other model indices. Cross-model means of several biogeochemical metrics show better agreement with observation-based estimates when restricted to those models that best simulate deep-ocean radiocarbon. Overall, the results emphasize the importance of physical processes in marine biogeochemical modeling and suggest that the development of circulation models can be accelerated by evaluating them with marine biogeochemical metrics. [less ▲]

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See detailInverse estimates of the oceanic sources and sinks of natural CO2 and the implied oceanic carbon transport
Mikaloff Fletcher, S. E.; Gruber, N.; Jacobson, A. R. et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2007), 21(1),

We use an inverse method to estimate the global-scale pattern of the air-sea flux of natural CO2, i.e., the component of the CO2 flux due to the natural carbon cycle that already existed in preindustrial ... [more ▼]

We use an inverse method to estimate the global-scale pattern of the air-sea flux of natural CO2, i.e., the component of the CO2 flux due to the natural carbon cycle that already existed in preindustrial times, on the basis of ocean interior observations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and other tracers, from which we estimate Delta C-gasex, i.e., the component of the observed DIC that is due to the gas exchange of natural CO2. We employ a suite of 10 different Ocean General Circulation Models (OGCMs) to quantify the error arising from uncertainties in the modeled transport required to link the interior ocean observations to the surface fluxes. The results from the contributing OGCMs are weighted using a model skill score based on a comparison of each model's simulated natural radiocarbon with observations. We find a pattern of air-sea flux of natural CO2 characterized by outgassing in the Southern Ocean between 44 degrees S and 59 degrees S, vigorous uptake at midlatitudes of both hemispheres, and strong outgassing in the tropics. In the Northern Hemisphere and the tropics, the inverse estimates generally agree closely with the natural CO2 flux results from forward simulations of coupled OGCM-biogeochemistry models undertaken as part of the second phase of the Ocean Carbon Model Intercomparison Project (OCMIP-2). The OCMIP-2 simulations find far less air-sea exchange than the inversion south of 20 degrees S, but more recent forward OGCM studies are in better agreement with the inverse estimates in the Southern Hemisphere. The strong source and sink pattern south of 20 degrees S was not apparent in an earlier inversion study, because the choice of region boundaries led to a partial cancellation of the sources and sinks. We show that the inversely estimated flux pattern is clearly traceable to gradients in the observed Delta C-gasex, and that it is relatively insensitive to the choice of OGCM or potential biases in Delta C-gasex. Our inverse estimates imply a southward interhemispheric transport of 0.31 +/- 0.02 Pg C yr(-1), most of which occurs in the Atlantic. This is considerably smaller than the 1 Pg C yr(-1) of Northern Hemisphere uptake that has been inferred from atmospheric CO2 observations during the 1980s and 1990s, which supports the hypothesis of a Northern Hemisphere terrestrial sink. [less ▲]

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See detailRapid decline of the CO2 buffering capacity in the North Sea and implications for the North Atlantic Ocean
Thomas, Helmuth; Prowe, A. E. Friederike; van Heuven, Steven et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2007), 21(GB4001),

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 matm, thus faster than atmospheric pCO2, which in ... [more ▼]

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 matm, thus faster than atmospheric pCO2, which in the same period rose approximately 11 matm. The surprisingly rapid decline in air-sea partial pressure difference (DpCO2) 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 DpCO2 over time as reported in several other recent North Atlantic studies. [less ▲]

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See detailInverse estimates of anthropogenic CO2 uptake, transport, and storage by the ocean
Mikaloff Fletcher, S. E.; Gruber, N.; Jacobson, A. R. et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2006), 20(2),

[1] Regional air-sea fluxes of anthropogenic CO2 are estimated using a Green's function inversion method that combines data-based estimates of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean with information about ocean ... [more ▼]

[1] Regional air-sea fluxes of anthropogenic CO2 are estimated using a Green's function inversion method that combines data-based estimates of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean with information about ocean transport and mixing from a suite of Ocean General Circulation Models (OGCMs). In order to quantify the uncertainty associated with the estimated fluxes owing to modeled transport and errors in the data, we employ 10 OGCMs and three scenarios representing biases in the data-based anthropogenic CO2 estimates. On the basis of the prescribed anthropogenic CO2 storage, we find a global uptake of 2.2 +/- 0.25 Pg C yr(-1), scaled to 1995. This error estimate represents the standard deviation of the models weighted by a CFC-based model skill score, which reduces the error range and emphasizes those models that have been shown to reproduce observed tracer concentrations most accurately. The greatest anthropogenic CO2 uptake occurs in the Southern Ocean and in the tropics. The flux estimates imply vigorous northward transport in the Southern Hemisphere, northward cross-equatorial transport, and equatorward transport at high northern latitudes. Compared with forward simulations, we find substantially more uptake in the Southern Ocean, less uptake in the Pacific Ocean, and less global uptake. The large-scale spatial pattern of the estimated flux is generally insensitive to possible biases in the data and the models employed. However, the global uptake scales approximately linearly with changes in the global anthropogenic CO2 inventory. Considerable uncertainties remain in some regions, particularly the Southern Ocean. [less ▲]

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See detailResponse of primary production and calcification to changes of pCO(2) during experimental blooms of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi
Delille, Bruno ULg; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Zondervan, Ingrid et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2005), 19(2),

[1] Primary production and calcification in response to different partial pressures of CO2 (PCO2) ("glacial,'' "present,'' and "year 2100'' atmospheric CO2 concentrations) were investigated during a ... [more ▼]

[1] Primary production and calcification in response to different partial pressures of CO2 (PCO2) ("glacial,'' "present,'' and "year 2100'' atmospheric CO2 concentrations) were investigated during a mesocosm bloom dominated by the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. The day-to-day dynamics of net community production (NCP) and net community calcification (NCC) were assessed during the bloom development and decline by monitoring dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity ( TA), together with oxygen production and 14 C incorporation. When comparing year 2100 with glacial PCO2 conditions we observed: ( 1) no conspicuous change of net community productivity (NCPy); ( 2) a delay in the onset of calcification by 24 to 48 hours, reducing the duration of the calcifying phase in the course of the bloom; ( 3) a 40% decrease of NCC; and ( 4) enhanced loss of organic carbon from the water column. These results suggest a shift in the ratio of organic carbon to calcium carbonate production and vertical flux with rising atmospheric PCO2. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantitative interpretation of atmospheric carbon records over the last glacial termination
Köhler, Peter; Fischer, Hubertus; Munhoven, Guy ULg et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2005), 19(4), 4020

The glacial/interglacial rise in atmospheric pCO(2) is one of the best known changes in paleoclimate research, yet the cause for it is still unknown. Forcing the coupled ocean-atmosphere-biosphere box ... [more ▼]

The glacial/interglacial rise in atmospheric pCO(2) is one of the best known changes in paleoclimate research, yet the cause for it is still unknown. Forcing the coupled ocean-atmosphere-biosphere box model of the global carbon cycle BICYCLE with proxy data over the last glacial termination, we are able to quantitatively reproduce transient variations in pCO(2) and its isotopic signatures (delta C-13, Delta C-14) observed in natural climate archives. The sensitivity of the Box model of the Isotopic Carbon cYCLE ( BICYCLE) to high or low latitudinal changes is comparable to other multibox models or more complex ocean carbon cycle models, respectively. The processes considered here ranked by their contribution to the glacial/interglacial rise in pCO(2) in decreasing order are: the rise in Southern Ocean vertical mixing rates (> 30 ppmv), decreases in alkalinity and carbon inventories (> 30 ppmv), the reduction of the biological pump (similar to 20 ppmv), the rise in ocean temperatures (15 - 20 ppmv), the resumption of ocean circulation (15 - 20 ppmv), and coral reef growth (< 5 ppmv). The regrowth of the terrestrial biosphere, sea level rise and the increase in gas exchange through reduced sea ice cover operate in the opposite direction, decreasing pCO(2) during Termination I by similar to 30 ppmv. According to our model the sequence of events during Termination I might have been the following: a reduction of aeolian iron fertilization in the Southern Ocean together with a breakdown in Southern Ocean stratification, the latter caused by rapid sea ice retreat, trigger the onset of the pCO(2) increase. After these events the reduced North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation during the Heinrich 1 event and the subsequent resumption of ocean circulation at the beginning of the Bolling-Allerod warm interval are the main processes determining the atmospheric carbon records in the subsequent time period of Termination I. We further deduce that a complete shutdown of the NADW formation during the Younger Dryas was very unlikely. Changes in ocean temperature and the terrestrial carbon storage are the dominant processes explaining atmospheric d13C after the Bolling-Allerod warm interval. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluating global ocean carbon models: The importance of realistic physics
Doney, S. C.; Lindsay, K.; Caldeira, K. et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2004), 18(3),

A suite of standard ocean hydrographic and circulation metrics are applied to the equilibrium physical solutions from 13 global carbon models participating in phase 2 of the Ocean Carbon-cycle Model ... [more ▼]

A suite of standard ocean hydrographic and circulation metrics are applied to the equilibrium physical solutions from 13 global carbon models participating in phase 2 of the Ocean Carbon-cycle Model Intercomparison Project (OCMIP-2). Model-data comparisons are presented for sea surface temperature and salinity, seasonal mixed layer depth, meridional heat and freshwater transport, 3-D hydrographic fields, and meridional overturning. Considerable variation exists among the OCMIP-2 simulations, with some of the solutions falling noticeably outside available observational constraints. For some cases, model-model and model-data differences can be related to variations in surface forcing, subgrid-scale parameterizations, and model architecture. These errors in the physical metrics point to significant problems in the underlying model representations of ocean transport and dynamics, problems that directly affect the OCMIP predicted ocean tracer and carbon cycle variables (e.g., air-sea CO2 flux, chlorofluorocarbon and anthropogenic CO2 uptake, and export production). A substantial fraction of the large model-model ranges in OCMIP-2 biogeochemical fields (+/-25-40%) represents the propagation of known errors in model physics. Therefore the model-model spread likely overstates the uncertainty in our current understanding of the ocean carbon system, particularly for transport-dominated fields such as the historical uptake of anthropogenic CO2. A full error assessment, however, would need to account for additional sources of uncertainty such as more complex biological-chemical-physical interactions, biases arising from poorly resolved or neglected physical processes, and climate change. [less ▲]

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See detailExchange processes and nitrogen cycling on the shelf and continental slope of the Black Sea basin
Grégoire, Marilaure ULg; Lacroix, Geneviève

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2003), 17(2),

A 3D coupled biogeochemical-hydrodynamical model has been applied to the Black Sea to simulate nitrogen cycling and to estimate the exchange of biogeochemical components at the shelf break and between the ... [more ▼]

A 3D coupled biogeochemical-hydrodynamical model has been applied to the Black Sea to simulate nitrogen cycling and to estimate the exchange of biogeochemical components at the shelf break and between the continental slope and the deep sea. It was found that biological processes on the northwestern shelf are in approximate balance. Primary production is fueled by river discharge, nitrate input from the open sea at the shelf break, and in situ remineralization. The input of nitrate from the open sea is roughly equivalent to the river nitrate discharge but is half the nitrate export from the shelf toward the open sea. Also, the Black Sea shelf acts throughout the year as a nitrate source for the open sea. The amount of shelf production not remineralized in the euphotic layer is 22.2% and is exported to lower layers (20%) or offshore (2.2%). We estimate that the export of carbon from the shelf to the interior of the basin represents 2.5% of the new production of the open sea. The upper slope adjoining the northwestern shelf is the site of downwelling events responsible for the downward transport to the intermediate layer of the continental slope of biogeochemical components exported from the shelf in the upper layer. The shelf has been found to be an efficient trap for the refractory material discharged by the Danube. [less ▲]

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See detailInorganic and organic carbon biogeochemistry in the Gautami Godavari estuary (Andhra Pradesh, India) during pre-monsoon : the local impact of extensive mangrove forests
Bouillon, Steven; Frankignoulle, Michel; Dehairs, Frank et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2003), 17(4),

[1] The distribution and sources of organic and inorganic carbon were studied in the Gautami Godavari estuary (Andhra Pradesh, India) and in a mangrove ecosystem in its delta during pre-monsoon. In the ... [more ▼]

[1] The distribution and sources of organic and inorganic carbon were studied in the Gautami Godavari estuary (Andhra Pradesh, India) and in a mangrove ecosystem in its delta during pre-monsoon. In the oligohaline and mesohaline section (salinity 0–15) of the estuary, internal production of total alkalinity (TAlk) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) was recorded, and the d13CDIC profile suggests that carbonate dissolution may be an important process determining the DIC dynamics in this section of the Godavari. The partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) was fairly low along the entire salinity gradient, (293–500 ppm), but much higher and more variable (1375–6437 ppm) in the network of tidal mangrove creeks in the delta. Here, variations in the concentration and d13C of the DIC pool were shown to result largely from the mineralization of organic matter. The present study clearly identifies the mangrove creeks as an active site of mineralization and CO2 efflux to the atmosphere, but shows that these changes in the aquatic biogeochemistry are a localized feature, rapidly fading in the adjacent Kakinada Bay. Our data indicate that mineralization of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of mangrove origin, and its subsequent efflux as CO2 to the atmosphere may represent an important fate for mangrove carbon. Although further quantification of this process in a variety of systems is required, we suggest that some of the current ideas on the role of mangroves in the carbon budget of the coastal zone may need to be reconsidered. [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution of surface carbon dioxide and air-sea exchange in the upwelling system off the Galician coast
Borges, Alberto ULg; Frankignoulle, Michel

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2002), 16

Data on the distribution of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) were obtained during six cruises off the Galician coast, a region characterized by a seasonal upwelling. The values of pCO2 over the ... [more ▼]

Data on the distribution of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) were obtained during six cruises off the Galician coast, a region characterized by a seasonal upwelling. The values of pCO2 over the continental shelf are highly variable and range between 265 and 415 matm during the upwelling season and between 315 and 345 matm during the downwelling season. Both the continental shelf and off-shelf waters behave as significant net sinks of atmospheric CO2. The computation of the air-sea fluxes of CO2 over the continental shelf yields a net influx in the range of 2.3 (±0.6) to 4.7 (±1.0) mmol C m 2 d 1 during the upwelling season and 3.5 (±0.8) to 7.0 (±1.5) mmol C m 2 d 1 on an annual basis. During the upwelling season and on an annual basis, although the observed air-sea gradients of CO2 over the continental shelf are significantly stronger than those in off-shelf waters, the computed air-sea CO2 fluxes are not significantly different because of the important incertitude introduced in the calculations by the estimated error on wind speed measurements. The presence of upwelling filaments increases the influx of atmospheric CO2 in the off-shelf waters. During summer, important short-term variations of pCO2 are observed that are related to both upwelling and temperature variations. During winter the cooling of water causes important undersaturation of CO2 related to the effect of temperature on the dissolved inorganic carbon equilibrium constants. [less ▲]

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See detailThe European Continental Shelf as a Significant sink for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
Frankignoulle, Michel; Borges, Alberto ULg

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2001), 15(3), 569-576

The concentration of carbon dioxide was measured during 18 cruises in the surface waters of the North Atlantic European Shelf (Galician sea, Gulf of Biscay, Armorican Sea, Celtic Sea, English Channel ... [more ▼]

The concentration of carbon dioxide was measured during 18 cruises in the surface waters of the North Atlantic European Shelf (Galician sea, Gulf of Biscay, Armorican Sea, Celtic Sea, English Channel, North Sea), covering all four seasons (9 months of 12) at interannual scale. This is the very first intensive field study of continental shelves, in terms of source/sink for atmospheric CO2, which allows to integrate fluxes on an annual basis and over a large surface area. Here we show that European continental shelves are a sink of 90 to 170 million tons of carbon per year, that is an additional appreciable fraction to the presently proposed flux for the open North Atlantic Ocean (about 45%). The air-sea fluxes of CO2 we obtained are similar to those recently reported in the East China Sea, allowing us to conclude that the coastal ocean plays a considerable role in the global oceanic carbon cycle. [less ▲]

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See detailCARAIB - A global model of terrestrial biological productivity
Warnant, Pierre ULg; François, Louis ULg; Strivay, David ULg et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (1994), 8(3), 255-270

CARAIB, a mechanistic model of carbon assimilation in the biosphere estimates the net primary productivity (NPP) of the continental vegetation on a grid of 1 degrees x 1 degrees in latitude and longitude ... [more ▼]

CARAIB, a mechanistic model of carbon assimilation in the biosphere estimates the net primary productivity (NPP) of the continental vegetation on a grid of 1 degrees x 1 degrees in latitude and longitude. The model considers the annual and diurnal cycles. It is based on the coupling of the three following submodels; a leaf assimilation model including estimates of stomatal conductance and leaf respiration, a canopy model describing principally the radiative transfer through the foliage, and a wood respiration model. Present-day climate and vegetation characteristics allow the discrimination between ecotypes. In particular, specific information on vegetation distribution and properties is successfully used at four levels; the leaf physiological level, the plant level, the ecosystem level, and the global level. The productivity determined by the CARAIB model is compared with local measurements and empirical estimates showing a good agreement with a global value of 65 Gt C yr(-1). The sensitivity of the model to the diurnal cycle and to the abundance of C-4 species is also tested. The productivity slightly decreases (10%) when the diurnal cycle of the temperature is neglected. By contrast, neglecting the diurnal cycle of solar irradiance produces unrealistically high values of NPP. Even if the importance of this increase would presumably be reduced by the coupling of CARAIB with a nutrient cycle model, this test emphasizes the key role of the diurnal cycle in a mechanistic model of the NPP. Uncertainties on the abundance and spatial distribution of C-4 plants may cause errors in the NPP estimates, however, as demonstrated by two sensitivity tests, these errors are certainly lower than 10% at the global scale as shown by two tests. [less ▲]

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