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Estimates of ocean carbon uptake from ocean biogeochemical models are key to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Such estimates suggest that ocean carbon uptake is decreasing due to climate change, and particularly due to strengthening of the Southern Hemisphere winds. We show that these model-based estimates are highly uncertain due to poorly resolved physical processes (mesoscale ocean eddies) and uncertainty in the observed surface wind forcing used to drive the models.
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Articles | Volume 11, issue 21
Biogeosciences, 11, 6107–6117, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-6107-2014
Biogeosciences, 11, 6107–6117, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-6107-2014

Research article 13 Nov 2014

Research article | 13 Nov 2014

Wind-driven changes in the ocean carbon sink

N. C. Swart et al.

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Böning, C., Dispert, A., Visbeck, M., Rintoul, S., and Schwarzkopf, F.: The response of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to recent climate change, Nat. Geosci., 1, 864–869, https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo362, 2008.
Ciais, P., Sabine, C., Bala, G., Bopp., L., Brovkin, V., Canadell, J., Chhabra, A., DeFries, R., Galloway, J., Heimann, M., Jones, C., Le Quéré, C., Myneni, R., Piao, S., and Thornton, P.: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles, in: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Stocker, T., Qin, D., Plattner, G.-K., Tignor, M., Allen, S., Boschung, J., Nauels, A., Xia, Y., Bex, V., and Midgley, P., chap. 6, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, USA, 2013.
Eby, M., Zickfeld, K., Montenegro, A., Archer, D., Meissner, K. J., and Weaver, A. J.: Lifetime of Anthropogenic Climate Change: Millennial Time Scales of Potential CO2 and Surface Temperature Perturbations, J. Climate, 22, 2501–2511, 2009.
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Estimates of ocean carbon uptake from ocean biogeochemical models are key to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Such estimates suggest that ocean carbon uptake is decreasing due to climate change, and particularly due to strengthening of the Southern Hemisphere winds. We show that these model-based estimates are highly uncertain due to poorly resolved physical processes (mesoscale ocean eddies) and uncertainty in the observed surface wind forcing used to drive the models.
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