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Annual sea-air CO2fluxes in the Bering Sea: insights from new autumn and winter observations of a seasonally ice-covered continental shelf

Annual sea-air CO2fluxes in the Bering Sea: insights from new autumn and winter observations of a seasonally ice-covered continental shelf
Annual sea-air CO2fluxes in the Bering Sea: insights from new autumn and winter observations of a seasonally ice-covered continental shelf
High-resolution data collected from several programs have greatly increased the spatiotemporal resolution of pCO2(sw) data in the Bering Sea, and provided the first autumn and winter observations. Using data from 2008 to 2012, monthly climatologies of sea-air CO2 fluxes for the Bering Sea shelf area from April to December were calculated, and contributions of physical and biological processes to observed monthly sea-air pCO2 gradients (?pCO2) were investigated. Net efflux of CO2 was observed during November, December, and April, despite the impact of sea surface cooling on ?pCO2. Although the Bering Sea was believed to be a moderate to strong atmospheric CO2 sink, we found that autumn and winter CO2 effluxes balanced 65% of spring and summer CO2 uptake. Ice cover reduced sea-air CO2 fluxes in December, April, and May. Our estimate for ice-cover corrected fluxes suggests the mechanical inhibition of CO2 flux by sea-ice cover has only a small impact on the annual scale (<2%). An important data gap still exists for January to March, the period of peak ice cover and the highest expected retardation of the fluxes. By interpolating between December and April using assumptions of the described autumn and winter conditions, we estimate the Bering Sea shelf area is an annual CO2 sink of ?6.8 Tg C yr?1. With changing climate, we expect warming sea surface temperatures, reduced ice cover, and greater wind speeds with enhanced gas exchange to decrease the size of this CO2 sink by augmenting conditions favorable for greater wintertime outgassing.
bering sea, CO2 flux, sea-ice, biogeochemistry, coastal oceanography
2169-9275
6693-6708
Cross, Jessica N.
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Mathis, Jeremy T.
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Frey, Karen E.
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Cosca, Catherine E.
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Danielson, Seth L.
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Bates, Nicholas R.
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Feely, Richard A.
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Takahashi, Taro
392ee228-076d-4bb9-bc71-98823263b840
Evans, Wiley
d5e3a452-9038-4f39-a470-edc78493ea7d
Cross, Jessica N.
541db4fa-c85c-4363-8720-e53cfa1d93f0
Mathis, Jeremy T.
f69fdb7f-0909-4e45-9ab8-6c73f84e9d8a
Frey, Karen E.
78d23a2c-2ab8-4a57-bb1a-eb4723211b19
Cosca, Catherine E.
45a149ff-eb6d-4c89-a40f-4cd96c51ba22
Danielson, Seth L.
9e22753c-0c5e-4c7e-bd4f-503caf753054
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Feely, Richard A.
1a7cf327-96c7-4a7c-ae05-5a6e4927add6
Takahashi, Taro
392ee228-076d-4bb9-bc71-98823263b840
Evans, Wiley
d5e3a452-9038-4f39-a470-edc78493ea7d

Cross, Jessica N., Mathis, Jeremy T., Frey, Karen E., Cosca, Catherine E., Danielson, Seth L., Bates, Nicholas R., Feely, Richard A., Takahashi, Taro and Evans, Wiley (2014) Annual sea-air CO2fluxes in the Bering Sea: insights from new autumn and winter observations of a seasonally ice-covered continental shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 (10), 6693-6708. (doi:10.1002/2013JC009579).

Record type: Article

Abstract

High-resolution data collected from several programs have greatly increased the spatiotemporal resolution of pCO2(sw) data in the Bering Sea, and provided the first autumn and winter observations. Using data from 2008 to 2012, monthly climatologies of sea-air CO2 fluxes for the Bering Sea shelf area from April to December were calculated, and contributions of physical and biological processes to observed monthly sea-air pCO2 gradients (?pCO2) were investigated. Net efflux of CO2 was observed during November, December, and April, despite the impact of sea surface cooling on ?pCO2. Although the Bering Sea was believed to be a moderate to strong atmospheric CO2 sink, we found that autumn and winter CO2 effluxes balanced 65% of spring and summer CO2 uptake. Ice cover reduced sea-air CO2 fluxes in December, April, and May. Our estimate for ice-cover corrected fluxes suggests the mechanical inhibition of CO2 flux by sea-ice cover has only a small impact on the annual scale (<2%). An important data gap still exists for January to March, the period of peak ice cover and the highest expected retardation of the fluxes. By interpolating between December and April using assumptions of the described autumn and winter conditions, we estimate the Bering Sea shelf area is an annual CO2 sink of ?6.8 Tg C yr?1. With changing climate, we expect warming sea surface temperatures, reduced ice cover, and greater wind speeds with enhanced gas exchange to decrease the size of this CO2 sink by augmenting conditions favorable for greater wintertime outgassing.

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Published date: October 2014
Keywords: bering sea, CO2 flux, sea-ice, biogeochemistry, coastal oceanography
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

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Local EPrints ID: 372169
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372169
ISSN: 2169-9275
PURE UUID: 192afa73-b229-4a18-bf69-80b5a435aa4b

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Date deposited: 26 Nov 2014 15:29
Last modified: 07 Nov 2019 17:32

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