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2014
Rodgers, KB, Aumont O, Fletcher SEM, Plancherel Y, Bopp L, Montegut CD, Iudicone D, Keeling RF, Madec G, Wanninkhof R.  2014.  Strong sensitivity of Southern Ocean carbon uptake and nutrient cycling to wind stirring. Biogeosciences. 11:4077-4098.   10.5194/bg-11-4077-2014   AbstractWebsite

Here we test the hypothesis that winds have an important role in determining the rate of exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and ocean through wind stirring over the Southern Ocean. This is tested with a sensitivity study using an ad hoc parameterization of wind stirring in an ocean carbon cycle model, where the objective is to identify the way in which perturbations to the vertical density structure of the planetary boundary in the ocean impacts the carbon cycle and ocean biogeochemistry. Wind stirring leads to reduced uptake of CO2 by the Southern Ocean over the period 2000-2006, with a relative reduction with wind stirring on the order of 0.9 Pg C yr(-1) over the region south of 45 degrees S. This impacts not only the mean carbon uptake, but also the phasing of the seasonal cycle of carbon and other ocean biogeochemical tracers. Enhanced wind stirring delays the seasonal onset of stratification, and this has large impacts on both entrainment and the biological pump. It is also found that there is a strong reduction on the order of 25-30% in the concentrations of NO3 exported in Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) to wind stirring. This finds expression not only locally over the Southern Ocean, but also over larger scales through the impact on advected nutrients. In summary, the large sensitivity identified with the ad hoc wind stirring parameterization offers support for the importance of wind stirring for global ocean biogeochemistry through its impact over the Southern Ocean.

2000
Stephens, BB, Keeling RF.  2000.  The influence of Antarctic sea ice on glacial-interglacial CO2 variations. Nature. 404:171-174.   10.1038/35004556   AbstractWebsite

Ice-core measurements indicate that atmospheric CO(2) concentrations during glacial periods were consistently about 80 parts per million lower than during interglacial periods(1). Previous explanations for this observation(2-9) have typically had difficulty accounting for either the estimated glacial O(2) concentrations in the deep sea, (13)C/(12)C ratios in Antarctic surface waters, or the depth of calcite saturation; also lacking is an explanation for the strong link between atmospheric CO(2) and Antarctic air temperature(1). There is growing evidence that the amount of deep water upwelling at low latitudes is significantly overestimated in most ocean general circulation models(10,11) and simpler box models previously used to investigate this problem. Here we use a box model with deep-water upwelling confined to south of 55 degrees S to investigate the glacial-interglacial linkages between Antarctic air temperature and atmospheric CO(2) variations. We suggest that low glacial atmospheric CO(2) levels might result from reduced deep-water ventilation associated with either year-round Antarctic sea-ice coverage, or wintertime coverage combined with ice-induced stratification during the summer. The model presented here reproduces 67 parts per million of the observed glacial-interglacial CO(2) difference, as a result of reduced air-sea gas exchange in the Antarctic region, and is generally consistent with the additional observational constraints.

1996
Keeling, RF, Piper SC, Heimann M.  1996.  Global and hemispheric CO2 sinks deduced from changes in atmospheric O2 concentration. Nature. 381:218-221.   10.1038/381218a0   AbstractWebsite

THE global budget for sources and sinks of anthropogenic CO2 has been found to be out of balance unless the oceanic sink is supplemented by an additional 'missing sink', plausibly associated with land biota(1,25). A similar budgeting problem has been found for the Northern Hemisphere alone(2,3), suggesting that northern land biota may be the sought-after sink, although this interpretation is not unique(2-5); to distinguish oceanic and land carbon uptake, the budgets rely variously, and controversially, on ocean models(2,6,7), (CO2)-C-13/(CO2)-C-12 data(2,4,5), sparse oceanic observations of p(CO2) (ref. 3) or C-13/C-12 ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon, (4,5,8) or single-latitude trends in atmospheric O-2 as detected from changes in O-2/N-2 ratio.(9,10). Here we present an extensive O-2/N-2 data set which shows simultaneous trends in O-2/N-2 in both northern and southern hemispheres and allows the O-2/N-2 gradient between the two hemispheres to be quantified. The data are consistent with a budget in which, for the 1991-94 period, the global oceans and the northern land biota each removed the equivalent of approximately 30% of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, while the tropical land biota as a whole were not a strong source or sink.