Central role of Southern Hemisphere winds and eddies in modulating the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon

Bryan K. Mignone, Anand Gnanadesikan, Jorge Louis Sarmiento, Richard D. Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the world ocean is known to be a major sink of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, the exact processes governing the magnitude and regional distribution of carbon uptake remain poorly understood. Here we show that Southern Hemisphere winds, by altering the Ekman volume transport out of the Southern Ocean, strongly control the regional distribution of anthropogenic uptake in an ocean general circulation model, while winds and isopycnal thickness mixing together, by altering the volume of light, actively-ventilated ocean water, exert strong control over the absolute magnitude of anthropogenic uptake. These results are provocative in suggesting that climate-mediated changes in pycnocline volume may ultimately control changes in future carbon uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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