Articles | Volume 11, issue 20
Biogeosciences, 11, 5749–5761, 2014

Special issue: 9th International Carbon Dioxide Conference (ICDC9) (ESD/ACP/AMT/BG...

Biogeosciences, 11, 5749–5761, 2014

Research article 16 Oct 2014

Research article | 16 Oct 2014

Winter-to-summer evolution of pCO2 in surface water and air–sea CO2 flux in the seasonal ice zone of the Southern Ocean

D. Nomura1,2, H. Yoshikawa-Inoue3, S. Kobayashi3, S. Nakaoka4, K. Nakata1,3, and G. Hashida5 D. Nomura et al.
  • 1Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-19, Nishi-8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0819, Japan
  • 2Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), 6 Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-8471, Japan
  • 3Graduate School of Environmental Science and Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-10, Nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
  • 4National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan
  • 5National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8501, Japan

Abstract. Partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in surface water and vertical profiles of the carbonate system parameters were measured during austral summer in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean (64–67° S, 32–58° E) in January 2006 to understand the CO2 dynamics of seawater in the seasonal ice zone. Surface-water pCO2 ranged from 275 to 400 μatm, and longitudinal variations reflected the dominant influence of water temperature and dilution by sea ice meltwater between 32 and 40° E and biological productivity between 40 and 58° E. Using carbonate system data from the temperature minimum layer (−1.9 °C < T < −1.5 °C, 34.2 < S < 34.5), we examined the winter-to-summer evolution of surface-water pCO2 and the factors affecting it. Our results indicate that pCO2 increased by as much as 32 μatm, resulting mainly from the increase in water temperature. At the same time as changes in sea ice concentration and surface-water pCO2, the air–sea CO2 flux, which consists of the exchange of CO2 between sea ice and atmosphere, changed from −1.1 to +0.9 mmol C m−2 day−1 between winter and summer. These results suggest that, for the atmosphere, the seasonal ice zone acts as a CO2 sink in winter and a temporary CO2 source in summer immediately after the retreat of sea ice. Subsequent biological productivity likely decreases surface-water pCO2 and the air–sea CO2 flux becomes negative, such that in summer the study area is again a CO2 sink with respect to the atmosphere.

Final-revised paper