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Tanhua, T, Keeling RF.  2012.  Changes in column inventories of carbon and oxygen in the Atlantic Ocean. Biogeosciences. 9:4819-4833.   10.5194/bg-9-4819-2012   AbstractWebsite

Increasing concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the interior ocean are expected as a direct consequence of increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. This extra DIC is often referred to as anthropogenic carbon (C-ant), and its inventory, or increase rate, in the interior ocean has previously been estimated by a multitude of observational approaches. Each of these methods is associated with hard to test assumptions since C-ant cannot be directly observed. Results from a simpler concept with fewer assumptions applied to the Atlantic Ocean are reported on here using two large data collections of carbon relevant bottle data. The change in column inventory on decadal time scales, i.e. the storage rate, of DIC, respiration compensated DIC and oxygen is calculated for the Atlantic Ocean. We report storage rates and the confidence intervals of the mean trend at the 95% level (CI), reflecting the mean trend but not considering potential biasing effects of the spatial and temporal sampling. For the whole Atlantic Ocean the mean trends for DIC and oxygen are non-zero at the 95% confidence level: DIC: 0.86 (CI: 0.72-1.00) and oxygen: -0.24 (CI: -0.41-(-0.07)) mol m(-2) yr(-1). For oxygen, the whole Atlantic trend is dominated by the subpolar North Atlantic, whereas for other regions the O-2 trends are not significant. The storage rates are similar to changes found by other studies, although with large uncertainty. For the subpolar North Atlantic the storage rates show significant temporal and regional variation of all variables. This seems to be due to variations in the prevalence of subsurface water masses with different DIC and oxygen concentrations leading to sometimes different signs of storage rates for DIC compared to published C-ant estimates. This study suggest that accurate assessment of the uptake of CO2 by the oceans will require accounting not only for processes that influence C-ant but also additional processes that modify CO2 storage.

Tans, PP, Berry JA, Keeling RF.  1993.  Oceanic 13C/12C observations: A new window on ocean CO2 uptake. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 7:353-368.   10.1029/93gb00053   AbstractWebsite

Equations are developed describing the rate of change of carbon isotopic ratios in the atmosphere and oceans in terms of deltaC-13 quantities. The equations enable one to perform calculations directly with delta and epsilon quantities commonly reported in the literature. The main cause of the change occurring today is the combustion of fossil fuel carbon with lower deltaC-13 values. The course of this isotopic anomaly in atmosphere and oceans can provide new constraints on the carbon budgets of these reservoirs. Recently published deltaC-13 isotopic data of total inorganic carbon in the oceans [Quay et al., 1992] appear to lead to incompatible results with respect to the uptake of fossil fuel CO2 by the oceans if two different approaches Lo the data are taken. Consideration of the air-sea isotopic disequilibrium leads to an uptake estimate of only a few tenths of a gigaton C (Gt, for 10(15) g) per year, whereas the apparent change in the ocean deltaC-13 inventory leads to an estimate of more than 2 Gt C yr-1. Both results are very uncertain with presently available data. The isotopic ratio has the advantage that the signal-to-noise ratio for the measurement of the uptake of the isotopic signal by the oceans is better than for the uptake of total carbon. The drawback is that isotopic exchange with carbon reservoirs that are difficult to characterize introduces uncertainty into the isotopic budget. The accuracy requirements for the measurements are high, demanding careful standardization at all stages.