Articles | Volume 18, issue 8
Research article
30 Apr 2021
Research article |  | 30 Apr 2021

Ocean carbon uptake under aggressive emission mitigation

Sean M. Ridge and Galen A. McKinley

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Cited articles

Arora, V. K., Boer, G. J., Friedlingstein, P., Eby, M., Jones, C. D., Christian, J. R., Bonan, G., Bopp, L., Brovkin, V., Cadule, P., Hajima, T., Ilyina, T., Lindsay, K., Tjiputra, J. F., and Wu, T.: Carbon-concentration and carbon-climate feedbacks in CMIP5 Earth system models, J. Climate, 26,, 2013. a, b
Bopp, L., Lévy, M., Resplandy, L., and Sallée, J. B.: Pathways of anthropogenic carbon subduction in the global ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 6416–6423,, 2015. a, b, c, d, e, f
Bronselaer, B. and Zanna, L.: Heat and carbon coupling reveals ocean warming due to circulation changes, Nature, 584, 227–233,, 2020. a, b, c
Canadell, J. G., Le Quéré, C., Raupach, M. R., Field, C. B., Buitenhuis, E. T., Ciais, P., Conway, T. J., Gillett, N. P., Houghton, R. A., and Marland, G.: Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 18866–18870,, 2007. a
DeVries, T.: The oceanic anthropogenic CO2 sink: Storage, air-sea fluxes, and transports over the industrial era, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 28, 631–647,, 2014. a, b
Short summary
Approximately 40 % of the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have been absorbed by the ocean. The goal of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement is to reduce humanity's emissions so as to limit global warming to no more than 2 °C, and ideally less than 1.5 °C. If we achieve this level of mitigation, the ocean's uptake of carbon will be strongly reduced. Excess carbon trapped in the near-surface ocean will begin to mix back to the surface and will limit additional uptake.
Final-revised paper