Publications

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2005
Nevison, CD, Keeling RF, Weiss RF, Popp BN, Jin X, Fraser PJ, Porter LW, Hess PG.  2005.  Southern Ocean ventilation inferred from seasonal cycles of atmospheric N2O and O2/N2 at Cape Grim, Tasmania. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology. 57:218-229.   10.1111/j.1600-0889.2005.00143.x   AbstractWebsite

The seasonal cycle of atmospheric N(2)O is derived from a 10-yr observational record at Cape Grim, Tasmania (41 degrees S, 145 degrees E). After correcting for thermal and stratospheric influences, the observed atmospheric seasonal cycle is consistent with the seasonal outgassing of microbially produced N(2)O from the Southern Ocean, as predicted by an ocean biogeochemistry model coupled to an atmospheric transport model (ATM). The model-observation comparison suggests a Southern Ocean N(2)O source of similar to 0.9 Tg N yr(-1) and is the first study to reproduce observed atmospheric seasonal cycles in N(2)O using specified surface sources in forward ATM runs. However, these results are sensitive to the thermal and stratospheric corrections applied to the atmospheric N(2)O data. The correlation in subsurface waters between apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and N(2)O production (approximated as the concentration in excess of atmospheric equilibrium Delta N(2)O) is exploited to infer the atmospheric seasonal cycle in O(2)/N(2) due to ventilation of O(2)-depleted subsurface waters. Subtracting this cycle from the observed, thermally corrected seasonal cycle in atmospheric O(2)/N(2) allows the residual O(2)/N(2) signal from surface net community production to be inferred. Because N(2)O is only produced in subsurface ocean waters, where it is correlated to O(2) consumption, atmospheric N(2)O observations provide a methodology for distinguishing the surface production and subsurface ventilation signals in atmospheric O(2)/N(2), which have previously been inseparable.

1995
Nevison, CD, Weiss RF, Erickson DJ.  1995.  Global oceanic emissions of nitrous oxide. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 100:15809-15820.   10.1029/95jc00684   AbstractWebsite

The global N2O flux from the ocean to the atmosphere is calculated based on more than 60,000 expedition measurements of the N2O anomaly in surface water. The expedition data are extrapolated globally and coupled to daily air-sea gas transfer coefficients modeled at 2.8 degrees x 2.8 degrees resolution to estimate a global ocean source of about 4 (1.2-6.8) Tg N yr(-1). The wide range of uncertainty in the source estimate arises mainly from uncertainties in the air-sea gas transfer coefficients and in the global extrapolation of the summertime-biased surface N2O data set. The strongest source is predicted from the 40-60 degrees S latitude band. Strong emissions also are predicted from the northern Pacific Ocean, the equatorial upwelling zone, and coastal upwelling zones occurring predominantly in the tropical northern hemisphere. High apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) at 100 m below the mixed layer is found to be correlated positively both to N2O production at depth and to the surface N2O anomaly. On the basis of these correlations, the expedition data are partitioned into two subsets associated with high and low AOU at depth. The zonally averaged monthly means in each subset are extrapolated to produce two latitude-by-month matrices in which monthly surface N2O is expressed as the deviation from the annual mean. Both matrices contain large uncertainties. The low-AOU matrix, which mainly includes surface N2O data from the North Atlantic and the subtropical gyres, suggests many regions with positive summer deviations and negative winter deviations, consistent with a seasonal cycle predominantly driven by seasonal heating and cooling of the surface ocean. The high-AOU subset, which includes the regions most important to the global N2O ocean source, suggests some regions with positive winter deviations and negative summer deviations, consistent with a seasonal cycle predominantly driven by wintertime mixing of surface water with N2O-rich deep water. Coupled seasonal changes in gas transfer coefficients and surface N2O in these important source regions could strongly influence the global ocean source.

1992
Warner, MJ, Weiss RF.  1992.  Chlorofluoromethanes in South Atlantic Antarctic Intermediate Water. Deep-Sea Research Part a-Oceanographic Research Papers. 39:2053-2075.   10.1016/0198-0149(92)90013-j   AbstractWebsite

Distributions of the dissolved atmospheric chlorofluoromethanes (CFMs) F-11 and F-12 in the South Atlantic Ocean are used to study the ventilation and circulation of Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW). CFM distributions on an isopycnal surface representative of AAIW are consistent with recently ventilated water entering the subtropical gyre in the southwestern Atlantic and then being advected anticyclonically around this gyre. The westward-flowing northern limb of the gyre apparently divides near the coast of South America with some water flowing southward to recirculate in the gyre, and the balance flowing northward along the coast of Brazil. At the equator this northward current divides again with one branch going eastward along the equator and the other continuing into the Northern Hemisphere. In the eastern tropical Atlantic, the CFM concentrations on this isopycnal surface in the cyclonic gyre are extremely low between the subtropical gyre and the equatorial tongue. Along the prime meridian, the F-11 and F-12 concentrations on the 27.2 sigma(theta) isopycnal surface between the mixed layer outcrop and the northern edge of the subtropical gyre are fitted to a one-dimensional advection-diffusion model. This model assumes that the CFMs enter the subtropical gyre solely by northward diffusion from the mixed layer outcrop to the southern edge of the subtropical gyre, and that their distributions within the gyre are controlled by both advective and diffusive processes. Velocity and eddy diffusion coefficients are calculated from a least-squares fit to the data. These values are then used to calculate a mean oxygen consumption rate which is consistent with rates calculated using models of other time-dependent geochemical tracers.

1991
Whitworth, T, Nowlin WD, Pillsbury RD, Moore MI, Weiss RF.  1991.  Observations of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and deep boundary current in the southwest Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 96:15105-15118.   10.1029/91jc01319   AbstractWebsite

Fourteen-month velocity and temperature records from an array of 14 moorings north and west of the Falkland Plateau and supporting hydrographic and tracer data reveal a narrow boundary current that carries dense Antarctic waters. The current flows west along the northern flank of the Falkland Plateau with mean speeds of more than 10 cm s-1 at 5000 m and more than 30 cm s-1 at 2500 m. The westward flow extends from the bottom to at least 1000 m, but the upper portion of the current is a branch of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) following the only deepwater route between the Scotia Sea and the Argentine Basin. Waters colder than 0.2-degrees-C are too cold to be associated with the ACC at Drake Passage and must ultimately derive from the Weddell Sea as part of the deep thermohaline circulation. The westward transport of water colder than 0.2-degrees-C is 8.2 x 10(6) m3 s-1. In the mean the bottom boundary current is similar to that predicted by the Stommel-Arons model, but considerable variability is introduced by the meandering of the overlying ACC. Chlorofluorocarbon data suggest that new Antarctic water from the Georgia Basin enters the Argentine Basin via the deep boundary current, which passes beneath the ACC; some new water is also advected east after being entrained in the ACC. Most of the water in the deep boundary current is recirculated water that has been in residence in the Argentine Basin for some time. Water colder than -0.2-degrees-C is relatively new to the basin and comprises about 2.5 x 10(6) m3 s-1 of the westward flow of the boundary current.