Variability of global net sea–air CO2 fluxes over the last three decades using empirical relationships

Authors

  • GEUN-HA PARK,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
    2. Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Miami, FL 33149, USA
      Corresponding author. e-mail: Geun-Ha.Park@noaa.gov
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  • RIK WANNINKHOF,

    1. Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Miami, FL 33149, USA
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  • SCOTT C. DONEY,

    1. Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
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  • TARO TAKAHASHI,

    1. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
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  • KITACK LEE,

    1. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea
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  • RICHARD A. FEELY,

    1. Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
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  • CHRISTOPHER L. SABINE,

    1. Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
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  • JOAQUIN TRIÑANES,

    1. University of Santiago de Compostela/Technological Research Institute, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • IVAN D. LIMA

    1. Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
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Corresponding author. e-mail: Geun-Ha.Park@noaa.gov

ABSTRACT

The interannual variability of net sea–air CO2 flux for the period 1982–2007 is obtained from a diagnostic model using empirical subannual relationships between climatological CO2 partial pressure in surface seawater (pCO2SW) and sea surface temperature (SST), along with interannual changes in SST and wind speed. These optimum subannual relationships show significantly better correlation between pCO2SW and SST than the previous relationships using fixed monthly boundaries. Our diagnostic model yields an interannual variability of ±0.14 PgC yr−1 (1σ) with a 26-year mean of −1.48 PgC yr−1. The greatest interannual variability is found in the Equatorial Pacific, and significant variability is also found at northern and southern high-latitudes, depending in part, on which wind product is used. We provide an assessment of our approach by applying it to pCO2SW and SST output from a prognostic global biogeochemical ocean model. Our diagnostic approach applied to this model output shows reasonable agreement with the prognostic model net sea–air CO2 fluxes in terms of magnitude and phase of variability, suggesting that our diagnostic approach can capture much of the observed variability on regional to global scale. A notable exception is that our approach shows significantly less variability than the prognostic model in the Southern Ocean.

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