Unraveling the Physical and Biological Controls of the Global Coastal CO2 Sink

Alizée Roobaert, Laure Resplandy, Goulven G. Laruelle, Enhui Liao, Pierre Regnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The drivers governing the air-sea CO2 exchange and its variability in the coastal ocean are poorly understood. Using a global ocean biogeochemical model, this study quantifies the influences of thermal changes, oceanic transport, freshwater fluxes, and biological activity on the spatial and seasonal variability of CO2 sources/sinks in the global coastal ocean. We identify five typical coastal behaviors (dominated by biological drawdown, vertical transport, land imprint, intracoastal alongshore currents, and weak CO2 sources and sinks coastal regions) and propose a new processed-based delineation of the coastal ocean based on the quantification of these controlling processes. We find that the spatiotemporal variability of CO2 sources/sinks is dominated by strong exchanges with the open ocean and intracoastal processes, while continental influences are restricted to hotspot regions. In addition, where thermal changes appear to drive the seasonal CO2 variability, it often results from compensating effects between individual non-thermal terms, especially biological drawdown and vertical transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023GB007799
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • air-sea CO exchange
  • coastal ocean
  • controlling mechanisms
  • global ocean biophysical model
  • seasonal variability
  • typology


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