Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
27 Aug 2008
 | 27 Aug 2008

Effects of storms on primary productivity and air-sea CO2 exchange in the subarctic western North Pacific: a modeling study

M. Fujii and Y. Yamanaka

Abstract. Biogeochemical responses of the open ocean to storms and their feedback to climate are still poorly understood. Using a marine ecosystem model, we examined biogeochemical responses to the storms in the subarctic western North Pacific. The storms in summer through early autumn enhance net community production by wind-induced nutrient injections into the surface waters while the storms in the other seasons reduce net community production by intensifying light limitation on the phytoplankton growth due to vertical dilution of the phytoplankton. The two compensating effects diminish the storm-induced annual change of net community production to only 1%. On the contrary, the storms reduce the annual oceanic uptake of the atmospheric CO2 by 3%, resulting from storm-induced strong winds. Our results suggest that previous studies using climatological wind, sea level pressure, and CO2 data probably overestimated the air-to-sea CO2 influx during storms in the subarctic western North Pacific, and therefore, continuous high-frequent observations of these variables are required to reduce uncertainties in the global oceanic CO2 uptake.

Final-revised paper