Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Detecting oceanic carbon dioxide sink today and in the future

Date:
May 28, 2014
Source:
Uni Research
Summary:
The ocean has steadily taken up excess anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but a slow down is expected in various parts of the ocean. The current observational network needs to be improved to monitor these changes. Using the latest collection of data and state-of-the-art Earth system models, researchers confirm that ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide has steadily increased following the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in the past four decades. A large portion of this increase is attributed to the ongoing invasion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide into the ocean, whereas increase in sea surface temperature contributes only marginally.

Projections of annual oceanic CO2 uptake as simulated by five Earth system models plotted against surface pCO2 (bottom x-axis) and time (top x-axis).
Credit: Image courtesy of Uni Research

The ocean has steadily taken up excess anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere but a slow down is expected in various parts of the ocean. The current observational network needs to be improved to monitor these changes.

The surface ocean partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) can be directly measured and is an indicator of long-term climate change and the ocean carbon uptake. A new study at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research aims to quantify the long-term growth rate of surface pCO2 over various large-scale ocean domains.

Using latest collection of pCO2 data and state-of-the-art Earth system models, the researchers led by Jerry Tjiputra (Uni Research), confirm that the ocean pCO2 has steadily increased following the atmospheric CO2 concentration in the past four decades. A large portion of this increase is attributed to the ongoing invasion of anthropogenic CO2 into the ocean, whereas increase in sea surface temperature contributes only marginally.

It is evident from the models that in order to monitor the oceanic CO2 sink accurately, long-term records of surface pCO2 in key ocean regions are required. The study shows that, despite substantial increase in number of measurements in the past years, only few ocean regions have a sufficient spatial and temporal coverage, namely the subtropical North Atlantic and the western subpolar North Pacific. For the rest of the ocean, particularly in the southern hemisphere, poor data coverage hinders the full picture of the pCO2 trend. The vast ocean area and the high cost of data collection are the main reasons for the data limitation.

The models, which were assessed in the IPCC-AR5, predict that the ocean will continue to absorb the emitted anthropogenic CO2 toward the end of the 21st century under a high-CO2 future scenario. However, the uptake rate is expected to change in critical regions, such as the subpolar North Atlantic, eastern equatorial Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. Detecting these changes will further elucidate the mechanistic response of ocean biogeochemistry to climate change as well as its potential feedback to the climate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uni Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. JERRY F. Tjiputra, ARE Olsen, LAURENT Bopp, ANDREW Lenton, BENJAMIN Pfeil, TILLA Roy, JOACHIM Segschneider, IAN Totterdell, CHRISTOPH Heinze. Long-term surface pCO2 trends from observations and models. Tellus B, 2014; 66 (0) DOI: 10.3402/tellusb.v66.23083

Cite This Page:

Uni Research. "Detecting oceanic carbon dioxide sink today and in the future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140528103312.htm>.
Uni Research. (2014, May 28). Detecting oceanic carbon dioxide sink today and in the future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140528103312.htm
Uni Research. "Detecting oceanic carbon dioxide sink today and in the future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140528103312.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins