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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1998

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
OCEAN UPTAKE OF CO2


Item #d98dec14

“Quantification of Decadal Anthropogenic CO2 Uptake in the Ocean Based on Dissolved Inorganic Carbon Measurements,” T.-H. Peng et al., Nature 396, 560-563 (1998).

New improvements in the techniques for measuring dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the oceans were used to determine the amount of anthropogenic carbon sequestered as DIC by the Indian Ocean during the past two decades (1978-1995). After corrections were made for decadal-scale natural variability, the increase in CO2 uptake during this period was found to be 1.64 × 1015 gC.


Item #d98dec15

“Low Interannual Variability in Recent Oceanic Uptake of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” Kitack Lee et al., Nature 396, 155-159 (1998).

The assumption was made that the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in surface seawater is determined by the observed thermodynamics, biological processes, and mixing. Measurements of year-to-year changes in sea-surface temperature and of regional and seasonal changes in the relationship between seawater temperature and pCO2 were then used to deduce global changes in the uptake of CO2 by the oceans from year to year. The calculated interannual variability that was calculated (0.4 GtCy¾1) is much too small to account for the interannual variation in CO2 concentration observed in the atmosphere. As a result, the variation in the atmosphere is assumed to be produced largely by the seasonal variation in CO2 uptake by terrestrial processes.

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