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Winter weather controls net influx of atmospheric CO2 on the north-west European shelf

Winter weather controls net influx of atmospheric CO2 on the north-west European shelf
Winter weather controls net influx of atmospheric CO2 on the north-west European shelf
Shelf seas play an important role in the global carbon cycle, absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and exporting carbon (C) to the open ocean and sediments. The magnitude of these processes is poorly constrained, because observations are typically interpolated over multiple years. Here, we used 298500 observations of CO2 fugacity (fCO2) from a single year (2015), to estimate the net influx of atmospheric CO2 as 26.2 ± 4.7 Tg C yr−1 over the open NW European shelf. CO2 influx from the atmosphere was dominated by influx during winter as a consequence of high winds, despite a smaller, thermally-driven, air-sea fCO2 gradient compared to the larger, biologically-driven summer gradient. In order to understand this climate regulation service, we constructed a carbon-budget supplemented by data from the literature, where the NW European shelf is treated as a box with carbon entering and leaving the box. This budget showed that net C-burial was a small sink of 1.3 ± 3.1 Tg C yr−1, while CO2 efflux from estuaries to the atmosphere, removed the majority of river C-inputs. In contrast, the input from the Baltic Sea likely contributes to net export via the continental shelf pump and advection (34.4 ± 6.0 Tg C yr−1).
2045-2322
Kitidis, Vassilis
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Hull, Tom
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Gac, Jean-Philippe
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Van Heuven, Steven M. A. C.
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Hoppema, Mario
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Lauvset, Siv K.
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Skjelvan, Ingunn
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Olsen, Are
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Steinhoff, Tobias
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Diverrès, Denis
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Gkritzalis, Thanos
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Petersen, Wilhelm
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Sharples, Jonathan
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Kitidis, Vassilis
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Shutler, Jamie D.
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Sanders, Richard
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Mcgrath, Triona
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Stewart, Brian M.
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Hoppema, Mario
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Schuster, Ute
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Johannessen, Truls
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Omar, Abdirahman
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Lauvset, Siv K.
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Skjelvan, Ingunn
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Olsen, Are
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Steinhoff, Tobias
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Körtzinger, Arne
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Becker, Meike
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Lefevre, Nathalie
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Diverrès, Denis
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Gkritzalis, Thanos
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Cattrijsse, André
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Petersen, Wilhelm
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Voynova, Yoana G.
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Chapron, Bertrand
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Grouazel, Antoine
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Land, Peter E.
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Sharples, Jonathan
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Nightingale, Philip D.
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Kitidis, Vassilis, Shutler, Jamie D., Ashton, Ian, Warren, Mark, Brown, Ian, Findlay, Helen, Hartman, Sue E., Sanders, Richard, Humphreys, Matthew, Kivimäe, Caroline, Greenwood, Naomi, Hull, Tom, Pearce, David, Mcgrath, Triona, Stewart, Brian M., Walsham, Pamela, McGovern, Evin, Bozec, Yann, Gac, Jean-Philippe, Van Heuven, Steven M. A. C., Hoppema, Mario, Schuster, Ute, Johannessen, Truls, Omar, Abdirahman, Lauvset, Siv K., Skjelvan, Ingunn, Olsen, Are, Steinhoff, Tobias, Körtzinger, Arne, Becker, Meike, Lefevre, Nathalie, Diverrès, Denis, Gkritzalis, Thanos, Cattrijsse, André, Petersen, Wilhelm, Voynova, Yoana G., Chapron, Bertrand, Grouazel, Antoine, Land, Peter E., Sharples, Jonathan and Nightingale, Philip D. (2019) Winter weather controls net influx of atmospheric CO2 on the north-west European shelf. Scientific Reports, 9 (1), [20153]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56363-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Shelf seas play an important role in the global carbon cycle, absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and exporting carbon (C) to the open ocean and sediments. The magnitude of these processes is poorly constrained, because observations are typically interpolated over multiple years. Here, we used 298500 observations of CO2 fugacity (fCO2) from a single year (2015), to estimate the net influx of atmospheric CO2 as 26.2 ± 4.7 Tg C yr−1 over the open NW European shelf. CO2 influx from the atmosphere was dominated by influx during winter as a consequence of high winds, despite a smaller, thermally-driven, air-sea fCO2 gradient compared to the larger, biologically-driven summer gradient. In order to understand this climate regulation service, we constructed a carbon-budget supplemented by data from the literature, where the NW European shelf is treated as a box with carbon entering and leaving the box. This budget showed that net C-burial was a small sink of 1.3 ± 3.1 Tg C yr−1, while CO2 efflux from estuaries to the atmosphere, removed the majority of river C-inputs. In contrast, the input from the Baltic Sea likely contributes to net export via the continental shelf pump and advection (34.4 ± 6.0 Tg C yr−1).

Text
s41598-019-56363-5 - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
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Accepted/In Press date: 6 December 2019
Published date: 27 December 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437933
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437933
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: bf26436b-7b3b-418a-a0e2-5dac21ac0649

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2020 17:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 05:43

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Contributors

Author: Vassilis Kitidis
Author: Jamie D. Shutler
Author: Ian Ashton
Author: Mark Warren
Author: Ian Brown
Author: Helen Findlay
Author: Sue E. Hartman
Author: Richard Sanders
Author: Matthew Humphreys
Author: Caroline Kivimäe
Author: Naomi Greenwood
Author: Tom Hull
Author: David Pearce
Author: Triona Mcgrath
Author: Brian M. Stewart
Author: Pamela Walsham
Author: Evin McGovern
Author: Yann Bozec
Author: Jean-Philippe Gac
Author: Steven M. A. C. Van Heuven
Author: Mario Hoppema
Author: Ute Schuster
Author: Truls Johannessen
Author: Abdirahman Omar
Author: Siv K. Lauvset
Author: Ingunn Skjelvan
Author: Are Olsen
Author: Tobias Steinhoff
Author: Arne Körtzinger
Author: Meike Becker
Author: Nathalie Lefevre
Author: Denis Diverrès
Author: Thanos Gkritzalis
Author: André Cattrijsse
Author: Wilhelm Petersen
Author: Yoana G. Voynova
Author: Bertrand Chapron
Author: Antoine Grouazel
Author: Peter E. Land
Author: Jonathan Sharples
Author: Philip D. Nightingale

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