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Sea ice contribution to the air–sea CO2 exchange in the Arctic and Southern Oceans

Authors

  • SØREN RYSGAARD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
    2. Centre for Earth Observation Science, CHR Faculty of Environment Earth and Resources, University of Manitoba, 499 Wallace Building, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
      e-mail: rysgaard@natur.gl
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  • JØRGEN BENDTSEN,

    1. Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
    2. Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark
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  • BRUNO DELILLE,

    1. Unité d’Oceanographie Chimique, Interfacultary Centre for Marine Research, Université de Liége, Allée du 6 Août, 17, 4000 Liège, Belgium
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  • GERHARD S. DIECKMANN,

    1. Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
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  • RONNIE N. GLUD,

    1. Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
    2. Scottish Association of Marine Sciences, Scotland UK, Southern Danish University and NordCee, Odense M, Denmark
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  • HILARY KENNEDY,

    1. School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Menai Bridge, Anglesey LL59 5AB, Wales, United Kingdom
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  • JOHN MORTENSEN,

    1. Greenland Climate Research Centre, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
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  • STATHYS PAPADIMITRIOU,

    1. School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Menai Bridge, Anglesey LL59 5AB, Wales, United Kingdom
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  • DAVID N. THOMAS,

    1. School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Menai Bridge, Anglesey LL59 5AB, Wales, United Kingdom
    2. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Marine Research Centre, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, P.O. Box 140, FI – 00251 Helsinki, Finland
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  • JEAN-LOUIS TISON

    1. Glaciology Unit, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, CP 160/03, 50 Ave. F. D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
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e-mail: rysgaard@natur.gl

ABSTRACT

Although salt rejection from sea ice is a key process in deep-water formation in ice-covered seas, the concurrent rejection of CO2 and the subsequent effect on air–sea CO2 exchange have received little attention. We review the mechanisms by which sea ice directly and indirectly controls the air–sea CO2 exchange and use recent measurements of inorganic carbon compounds in bulk sea ice to estimate that oceanic CO2 uptake during the seasonal cycle of sea-ice growth and decay in ice-covered oceanic regions equals almost half of the net atmospheric CO2 uptake in ice-free polar seas. This sea-ice driven CO2 uptake has not been considered so far in estimates of global oceanic CO2 uptake. Net CO2 uptake in sea-ice–covered oceans can be driven by; (1) rejection during sea–ice formation and sinking of CO2-rich brine into intermediate and abyssal oceanic water masses, (2) blocking of air–sea CO2 exchange during winter, and (3) release of CO2-depleted melt water with excess total alkalinity during sea-ice decay and (4) biological CO2 drawdown during primary production in sea ice and surface oceanic waters.

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