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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-385
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-385
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Nov 2020

10 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Variability of North Atlantic CO2 fluxes for the 2000–2017 period

Zhaohui Chen1, Parvadha Suntharalingam1, Andrew J. Watson2, Ute Schuster2, Jiang Zhu3, and Ning Zeng4 Zhaohui Chen et al.
  • 1School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 2College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
  • 3International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing,10029, China
  • 4Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20742, USA

Abstract. We present new estimates of the regional North Atlantic (15° N–80° N) CO2 flux for the 2000–2017 period using atmospheric CO2 measurements from the NOAA long term surface site network in combination with an atmospheric data assimilation system (GEOSChem–LETKF). We also assess the sensitivity of flux estimates to the representation of the prior ocean flux distribution and to the associated specification of prior flux uncertainty, including a specification that is dependent on the agreement among the multiple representations of the prior ocean flux. Long term average flux estimates for the 2000–2017 period are −0.26±0.04 PgC y−1 for the subtropical basin (15° N–50° N), and −0.25±0.04 PgC y−1 for the subpolar region (50° N–80° N, west of 20° E). Our basin–scale estimates of the amplitude of interannual variability (IAV) are 0.037±0.006 PgC y−1 and 0.025±0.009 PgC y−1 for subtropical and subpolar regions respectively. We find a statistically significant trend in carbon uptake for the subtropical North Atlantic of −0.062±0.009 PgC y−1 decade−1 over this period.

Zhaohui Chen et al.

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Short summary
As the global temperature continues to increase, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of this global warming. The increased CO2 is mainly caused by emissions from fossil fuel use and land use. At the same time, the ocean is a significant sink in the carbon cycle. North Atlantic is a critical ocean region in reducing CO2 concentration. We estimate the CO2 uptake in this region based on a carbon inverse system and atmospheric CO2 observations.
As the global temperature continues to increase, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of this...
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