Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Biogeosciences, 9, 477–492, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-477-2012
Biogeosciences, 9, 477–492, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-477-2012

Research article 25 Jan 2012

Research article | 25 Jan 2012

Climate impacts on the structures of the North Pacific air-sea CO2 flux variability

V. Valsala1, S. Maksyutov2, M. Telszewski3, S. Nakaoka2, Y. Nojiri2, M. Ikeda4, and R. Murtugudde5 V. Valsala et al.
  • 1Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India
  • 2CGER, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
  • 3Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, Paris, France
  • 4Retired from EES, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • 5ESSIC, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA

Abstract. Some dominant spatial and temporal structures of the North Pacific air-sea CO2 fluxes in response to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are identified in three data products from three independent sources: an assimilated CO2 flux product and two forward model solutions. The interannual variability of CO2 flux is found to be an order of magnitude weaker compared to the seasonal cycle of CO2 flux in the North Pacific. A statistical approach is employed to quantify the signal-to-noise ratio in the reconstructed dataset to delineate the representativity errors. The dominant variability with a signal-to-noise ratio above one is identified and its correlations with PDO are examined. A tentative four-pole pattern in the North Pacific air-sea CO2 flux variability linked to PDO emerges in which two positively correlated poles are oriented in the northwest and southeast directions and contrarily, the negatively correlated poles are oriented in the northeast and southwest directions. This pattern is identified in three products, providing CO2 and pCO2. Its relations to the interannual El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and lower-frequency PDO are separately identified. A combined EOF analysis between air-sea CO2 flux and key variables representing ocean-atmosphere interactions is carried out to elicit robust oscillations in the North Pacific CO2 flux in response to the PDO. The proposed spatial and temporal structures of the North Pacific CO2 fluxes are insightful since they separate the secular trends of the surface ocean carbon from the interannual variability. The regional characterization of the North Pacific in terms of PDO and CO2 flux variability is also instructive for determining the homogeneous oceanic domains for the Regional Carbon Cycle and Assessment Processes (RECCAP).

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