Decadal change of dissolved inorganic carbon in the subarctic western North Pacific Ocean

Authors

  • M. WAKITA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mutsu Institute for Oceanography, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 690 Kitasekine, Sekine, Mutsu, Aomori 035-0022, Japan
    2. Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima-Cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan
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  • S. WATANABE,

    1. Mutsu Institute for Oceanography, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 690 Kitasekine, Sekine, Mutsu, Aomori 035-0022, Japan
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  • A. MURATA,

    1. Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima-Cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan
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  • N. TSURUSHIMA,

    1. Research Institute for Environment Management Technology, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569, Japan
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  • M. HONDA

    1. Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima-Cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan
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Corresponding author.
e-mail: mwakita@jamstec.go.jp

ABSTRACT

Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) was measured from 1992 to 2008 at two time-series sites in the subarctic western North Pacific; this region is a source of atmospheric CO2 in winter due to vertical mixing of deep waters rich in DIC. To estimate the decadal DIC increase resulting from CO2 uptake from the atmosphere, we corrected DIC for the contribution of biological activity below the temperature minimum (Tmin) layer (∼100 m), which is the remnant of the mixed layer from the preceding winter. Decadal DIC increases in the Tmin layer and upper intermediate water (1.3–1.5 μmol kg−1 yr−1; 100–200 m) were higher than those expected from oceanic equilibration with increasing atmospheric CO2 and those previously reported in the open North Pacific. The increase in water column CO2 was estimated to be 0.40 ± 0.08 mol m−2 yr−1. The decadal DIC change in the Tmin layer affects winter CO2 emission. The increase of atmospheric xCO2 in winter (2.1 ± 0.0 ppm yr−1) is higher than that of oceanic xCO2 (0.7 ± 0.5 ppm yr−1) that calculated from DIC and total alkalinity in the Tmin layer. This difference suggests reduction of CO2 emission in winter is possibly controlled by the increase of total alkalinity.

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