Mean annual cycle of the air-sea oxygen flux: A global view

Najjar, RG, Keeling RF.  2000.  Mean annual cycle of the air-sea oxygen flux: A global view. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 14:573-584.

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atlantic-ocean, atmospheric oxygen, co2, dissolved organic-carbon, gas-exchange, heat, north-atlantic, o-2/n-2 ratio, pacific, surface waters


A global monthly-mean climatology of the air-sea oxygen flux is presented and discussed. The climatology is based on the ocean oxygen climatology of Najjar and Keeling [1997] and wind speeds derived from a meteorological analysis center. Seasonal variations are characterized by outgassing of oxygen during spring and summer and ingassing of oxygen during fall and winter, a pattern consistent with thermal and biological forcing of the air-sea oxygen flux. The annual mean flux pattern is characterized by ingassing at high latitudes and the tropics and outgassing in middle latitudes. The air-sea oxygen flux is shown to exhibit patterns that agree well with patterns seen in a marine primary productivity climatology, in model generated air-sea O-2 fluxes, in estimates of remineralization in the shallow aphotic zone based on seasonal oxygen variations, in observed seasonal nutrient-temperature relationships, and in independent estimates of meridional oxygen transport in the Atlantic ocean. We also find that extratropical mixed layer new production during the spring-summer period, computed from biological seasonal net outgassing of oxygen, is equivalent to the production of 4.5-5.6 Gt C, much lower than previous estimates based on atmospheric O-2/N-2 measurements.