Anthropogenic CO2 inventory of the Indian Ocean

C. L. Sabine, R. M. Key, K. M. Johnson, F. J. Millero, A. Poisson, Jorge Louis Sarmiento, D. W.R. Wallace, C. D. Winn

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179 Scopus citations


This study presents basin-wide anthropogenic CO2 inventory estimates for the Indian Ocean based on measurements from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment/Joint Global Ocean Flux Study global survey. These estimates employed slightly modified ΔC* and time series techniques originally proposed by Gruber et al. [1996] and Wallace [1995], respectively. Together, the two methods yield the total oceanic anthropogenic CO2 and the carbon increase over the past 2 decades. The highest concentrations and the deepest penetrations of anthropogenic carbon are associated with the Subtropical Convergence at around 30°to 40°S. With both techniques, the lowest anthropogenic CO2 column inventories are observed south of 50°S. The total anthropogenic CO2 inventory north of 35°S was 13.6±2 Pg C in 1995. The inventory increase since GEOSECS (Geochemical Ocean Sections Program) was 4.1±1 Pg C for the same area. Approximately 6.7±1 Pg C are stored in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean, giving a total Indian Ocean inventory of 20.3±3 Pg C for 1995. These estimates are compared to anthropogenic CO2 inventories estimated by the Princeton ocean biogeochemistry model. The model predicts an Indian Ocean sink north of 35°S that is only 0.61-0.68 times the results presented here; while the Southern Ocean sink is nearly 2.6 times higher than the measurement-based estimate. These results clearly identify areas in the models that need further examination and provide a good baseline for future studies of the anthropogenic inventory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-198
Number of pages20
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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