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Nevison, CD, Keeling RF, Kahru M, Manizza M, Mitchell BG, Cassar N.  2012.  Estimating net community production in the Southern Ocean based on atmospheric potential oxygen and satellite ocean color data. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 26   10.1029/2011gb004040   AbstractWebsite

The seasonal cycle of atmospheric potential oxygen (APO similar to O-2 + 1.1 CO2) reflects three seasonally varying ocean processes: 1) thermal in- and outgassing, 2) mixed layer net community production (NCP) and 3) deep water ventilation. Previous studies have isolated the net biological seasonal signal (i.e., the sum of NCP and ventilation), after using air-sea heat flux data to estimate the thermal signal. In this study, we resolve all three components of the APO seasonal cycle using a methodology in which the ventilation signal is estimated based on atmospheric N2O data, the thermal signal is estimated based on heat flux or atmospheric Ar/N-2 data, and the production signal is inferred as a residual. The isolation of the NCP signal in APO allows for direct comparison to estimates of NCP based on satellite ocean color data, after translating the latter into an atmospheric signal using an atmospheric transport model. When applied to ocean color data using algorithms specially adapted to the Southern Ocean and APO data at three southern monitoring sites, these two independent methods converge on a similar phase and amplitude of the seasonal NCP signal in APO and yield an estimate of annual mean NCP south of 50 degrees S of 0.8-1.2 Pg C/yr, with corresponding annual mean NPP of similar to 3 Pg C/yr and a mean growing season f ratio of similar to 0.33. These results are supported by ocean biogeochemistry model simulations, in which air-sea O-2 and N2O fluxes are resolved into component thermal, ventilation and (for O-2) NCP contributions.

Battle, M, Fletcher SEM, Bender ML, Keeling RF, Manning AC, Gruber N, Tans PP, Hendricks MB, Ho DT, Simonds C, Mika R, Paplawsky B.  2006.  Atmospheric potential oxygen: New observations and their implications for some atmospheric and oceanic models. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 20   10.1029/2005gb002534   AbstractWebsite

[ 1] Measurements of atmospheric O(2)/N(2) ratios and CO(2) concentrations can be combined into a tracer known as atmospheric potential oxygen (APO approximate to O(2)/N(2) + CO(2)) that is conservative with respect to terrestrial biological activity. Consequently, APO reflects primarily ocean biogeochemistry and atmospheric circulation. Building on the work of Stephens et al. ( 1998), we present a set of APO observations for the years 1996 - 2003 with unprecedented spatial coverage. Combining data from the Princeton and Scripps air sampling programs, the data set includes new observations collected from ships in the low-latitude Pacific. The data show a smaller interhemispheric APO gradient than was observed in past studies, and different structure within the hemispheres. These differences appear to be due primarily to real changes in the APO field over time. The data also show a significant maximum in APO near the equator. Following the approach of Gruber et al. ( 2001), we compare these observations with predictions of APO generated from ocean O(2) and CO(2) flux fields and forward models of atmospheric transport. Our model predictions differ from those of earlier modeling studies, reflecting primarily the choice of atmospheric transport model (TM3 in this study). The model predictions show generally good agreement with the observations, matching the size of the interhemispheric gradient, the approximate amplitude and extent of the equatorial maximum, and the amplitude and phasing of the seasonal APO cycle at most stations. Room for improvement remains. The agreement in the interhemispheric gradient appears to be coincidental; over the last decade, the true APO gradient has evolved to a value that is consistent with our time-independent model. In addition, the equatorial maximum is somewhat more pronounced in the data than the model. This may be due to overly vigorous model transport, or insufficient spatial resolution in the air-sea fluxes used in our modeling effort. Finally, the seasonal cycles predicted by the model of atmospheric transport show evidence of an excessive seasonal rectifier in the Aleutian Islands and smaller problems elsewhere.

Manning, AC, Keeling RF.  2006.  Global oceanic and land biotic carbon sinks from the Scripps atmospheric oxygen flask sampling network. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology. 58:95-116.   10.1111/j.1600-0889.2006.00175.x   AbstractWebsite

Measurements of atmospheric O-2/N-2 ratio and CO2 concentration are presented over the period 1989-2003 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography global flask sampling network. A formal framework is described for making optimal use of these data to estimate global oceanic and land biotic carbon sinks. For the 10-yr period from 1990 to 2000, the oceanic and land biotic sinks are estimated to be 1.9 +/- 0.6 and 1.2 +/- 0.8 Pg C yr(-1), respectively, while for the 10-yr period from 1993 to 2003, the sinks are estimated to be 2.2 +/- 0.6 and 0.5 +/- 0.7 Pg C yr(-1), respectively. These estimates, which are also compared with earlier results, make allowance for oceanic O-2 and N-2 outgassing based on observed changes in ocean heat content and estimates of the relative outgassing per unit warming. For example, for the 1993-2003 period we estimate outgassing of 0.45 x 10(14) mol O-2 yr(-1) and 0.20 x 10(14) mol N-2 yr(-1), which results in a correction of 0.5 Pg C yr(-1) on the oceanic and land biotic carbon sinks. The basis for this oceanic outgassing correction is reviewed in the context of recent model estimates. The main contributions to the uncertainty in the global sinks averages are from the estimates for oceanic outgassing and the estimates for fossil fuel combustion. The oceanic sink of 2.2 Pg C yr(-1) for 1993-2003 is consistent, within the uncertainties, with the integrated accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean since 1800 as recently estimated from oceanic observations, assuming the oceanic sink varied over time as predicted by a box-diffusion model.

Najjar, RG, Keeling RF.  2000.  Mean annual cycle of the air-sea oxygen flux: A global view. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 14:573-584.   10.1029/1999gb900086   AbstractWebsite

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.