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Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 sink due to recent climate change

Le Quéré, Corinne; Rödenbeck, Christian; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Conway, Thomas J.; Langenfelds, Ray; Gomez, Antony; Labuschagne, Casper; Ramonet, Michel; Nakazawa, Takakiyo; Metzl, Nicolas; Gillett, Nathan; Heimann, Martin. 2007 Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 sink due to recent climate change. Science, 316 (5832). 1735-1738. 10.1126/science.1136188

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Abstract/Summary

Based on observed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and an inverse method, we estimate that the Southern Ocean sink of CO2 has weakened between 1981 and 2004 by 0.08 petagrams of carbon per year per decade relative to the trend expected from the large increase in atmospheric CO2. We attribute this weakening to the observed increase in Southern Ocean winds resulting from human activities, which is projected to continue in the future. Consequences include a reduction of the efficiency of the Southern Ocean sink of CO2 in the short term (about 25 years) and possibly a higher level of stabilization of atmospheric CO2 on a multicentury time scale.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1126/science.1136188
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > DISCOVERY 2010 - Integrating Southern Ocean Ecosystems into the Earth System
ISSN: 0036-8075
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 02 Nov 2011 11:52
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/11809

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