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Journal Articles Science Year : 2009

Tracking the Variable North Atlantic Sink for Atmospheric CO2

Andrew J. Watson
  • Function : Author
Ute Schuster
  • Function : Author
Dorothee C. E. Bakker
  • Function : Author
Nicholas R. Bates
  • Function : Author
Melchor González-Dávila
  • Function : Author
Tobias Friedrich
Judith Hauck
  • Function : Author
Christoph Heinze
  • Function : Author
Truls Johannessen
  • Function : Author
Arne Körtzinger
  • Function : Author
Jon Olafsson
  • Function : Author
Are Olsen
Andreas Oschlies
X. Antonio Padin
  • Function : Author
Benjamin Pfeil
  • Function : Author
J. Magdalena Santana-Casiano
  • Function : Author
Tobias Steinhoff
  • Function : Author
Maciej Telszewski
  • Function : Author
Aida F. Rios
  • Function : Author
Douglas W. R. Wallace
  • Function : Author
Rik H. Wanninkhof
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The oceans are a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Historically, observations have been too sparse to allow accurate tracking of changes in rates of CO2 uptake over ocean basins, so little is known about how these vary. Here, we show observations indicating substantial variability in the CO2 uptake by the North Atlantic on time scales of a few years. Further, we use measurements from a coordinated network of instrumented commercial ships to define the annual flux into the North Atlantic, for the year 2005, to a precision of about 10%. This approach offers the prospect of accurately monitoring the changing ocean CO2 sink for those ocean basins that are well covered by shipping routes.
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hal-00763285 , version 1 (10-12-2012)

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Andrew J. Watson, Ute Schuster, Dorothee C. E. Bakker, Nicholas R. Bates, Antoine Corbière, et al.. Tracking the Variable North Atlantic Sink for Atmospheric CO2. Science, 2009, 326 (5958), pp.1391-1393. ⟨10.1126/SCIENCE.1177394⟩. ⟨hal-00763285⟩
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