Open ocean gas transfer velocity derived from long-term direct measurements of the CO2 flux

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Abstract

[1] Air-sea open ocean CO2 flux measurements have been made using the Eddy Covariance (EC) technique onboard the weathership Polarfront in the North Atlantic between September 2006 and December 2009. Flux measurements were made using an autonomous system ‘AutoFlux’. CO2 mass density was measured with an open-path infrared gas analyzer. Following quality control procedures, 3938 20-minute flux measurements were made at mean wind speeds up to 19.6 m/s, significantly higher wind speeds than previously published results. The uncertainty in the determination of gas transfer velocities is large, but the mean relationship to wind speed allows a new parameterisation of the gas transfer velocity to be determined. A cubic dependence of gas transfer on wind speed is found, suggesting a significant influence of bubble-mediated exchange on gas transfer.

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