Articles | Volume 15, issue 12
Biogeosciences, 15, 3779–3794, 2018

Special issue: Progress in quantifying ocean biogeochemistry – in honour...

Biogeosciences, 15, 3779–3794, 2018

Research article 21 Jun 2018

Research article | 21 Jun 2018

What fraction of the Pacific and Indian oceans' deep water is formed in the Southern Ocean?

James W. B. Rae and Wally Broecker


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Short summary
The deep ocean is the major store of heat and carbon in Earth's surface environment and thus has a major impact on climate. Waters that fill the deep ocean come from the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean, but there is debate on their relative importance. Here we reconcile previous estimates using deep sea phosphate and oxygen data. We show that although a large volume of deep water comes from the south, this does not spend enough time in the southern surface to fully exchange heat and CO2.
Final-revised paper