Changes in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the Mauritanian–Cap Vert upwelling region between 2005 and 2012
Abstract. Coastal upwellings along the eastern margins of major ocean basins represent regions of large ecological and economic importance due to the high biological productivity. The role of these regions for the global carbon cycle makes them essential in addressing climate change. The physical forcing of upwelling processes that favor production in these areas are already being affected by global warming, which will modify the intensity of upwelling and, consequently, the carbon dioxide cycle. Here, we present monthly high-resolution surface experimental data for temperature and partial pressure of carbon dioxide in one of the four most important upwelling regions of the planet, the Mauritanian–Cap Vert upwelling region, from 2005 to 2012. This data set provides direct evidence of seasonal and interannual changes in the physical and biochemical processes. Specifically, we show an upwelling intensification and an increase of 0.6 Tg yr−1 in CO2 outgassing due to increased wind speed, despite increased primary productivity. This increase in CO2 outgassing together with the observed decrease in sea surface temperature at the location of the Mauritanian Cap Blanc, 21° N, produced a pH rate decrease of −0.003 ± 0.001 yr−1.