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Southern Ocean carbon-wind stress feedback

Bronselaer, Ben; Zanna, Laure; Munday, David R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1920-708X; Lowe, Jason. 2018 Southern Ocean carbon-wind stress feedback. Climate Dynamics, 51 (7-8). 2743-2757. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-4041-y

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Abstract/Summary

The Southern Ocean is the largest sink of anthropogenic carbon in the present-day climate. Here, Southern Ocean pCO 2 pCO2 and its dependence on wind forcing are investigated using an equilibrium mixed layer carbon budget. This budget is used to derive an expression for Southern Ocean pCO 2 pCO2 sensitivity to wind stress. Southern Ocean pCO 2 pCO2 is found to vary as the square root of area-mean wind stress, arising from the dominance of vertical mixing over other processes such as lateral Ekman transport. The expression for p\hbox {CO}_{2} is validated using idealised coarse-resolution ocean numerical experiments. Additionally, we show that increased (decreased) stratification through surface warming reduces (increases) the sensitivity of the Southern Ocean pCO 2 pCO2 to wind stress. The scaling is then used to estimate the wind-stress induced changes of atmospheric pCO 2 pCO2 in CMIP5 models using only a handful of parameters. The scaling is further used to model the anthropogenic carbon sink, showing a long-term reversal of the Southern Ocean sink for large wind stress strength.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-4041-y
ISSN: 0930-7575
Additional Keywords: Southern Ocean, carbon cycle, climate feedback, wind stress, air-sea carbon fluxes
Date made live: 11 Oct 2018 08:26 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521167

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