A new paper published in Deep-Sea Research finds the ocean is a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere, the opposite of claims by climate alarmists that the ocean removes CO2 from the atmosphere. According to the authors, "At the [research] site, the ocean is primarily a source of CO2 to the atmosphere, except during strong upwelling events." The paper also notes, "Astor et al.(2005) observed the interactions between physical and biochemical parameters that lead to temporal [over time] variations in fCO2 [CO2 flux from the] sea, finding that even during periods of high production, the CO2 flux between the ocean and the atmosphere decreased but remained positive, i.e. CO2 escaped from the ocean to the atmosphere."
The paper corroborates prior work by Salby, Humlum et al, Frölicher et al, Cho et al, Calder et al, Francey et al, Ahlbeck, Pettersson, and others demonstrating that man-made CO2 is not the driver of atmospheric CO2. This new work confirms the primary source of atmospheric CO2 is out-gassing from the oceans, which is due to decreased solubility with increased temperature.
|The net transfer of CO2 was from the ocean to atmosphere during the study period from 1996-2009, shown by the positive flux values on vertical axis. The flux only dipped to negative values [net transfer from atmosphere to ocean] during brief periods.|
Full paper available here:
Y.M. Astor et al
We examined the variability of sea surface carbon dioxide fugacity (
fCO 2sea) and its relation to temperature at the Cariaco Basin ocean time-series location (10°30’N, 64°40’W) for the period from 1996 through 2008. Periods of warm (positive) and cold (negative) anomalies at the station were related to variability in coastal upwelling intensity. A positive temporal trend in monthly-deseasonalized sea surface temperatures (SST) was observed, leading to an overall increase of 1.13 °C over 13 years. Surface fCO 2 sea displayed significant short-term variation (month to month) with a range of 330 to 445 µatm. In addition to a large seasonal range (58±17 µatm), deseasonalized fCO 2sea data showed an interannual positive trend of 1.77±0.43 µatm year−1. In the Cariaco Basin, positive and negative anomalies of temperature and fCO 2sea are in phase. An increase/decrease of 1 °C coincides with an increase/decrease of 16–20 µatm of fCO 2sea. Deseasonalized fCO 2 seanormalized to 26.05 °C, the mean Cariaco SST, shows a lower rate of increase (0.51±0.49 µatm year−1). Based on these observations, 72% of the increase in fCO 2sea in Cariaco Basin between 1996 and 2008 can be attributed to an increasing temperature trend of surface waters, making this the primary factor controlling fugacity at this location. During this period, a decrease in upwelling intensity was also observed. The phytoplankton community changed from large diatom-dominated blooms during upwelling in the late 1990's to blooms dominated by smaller cells in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The average net sea [to] air CO 2 flux over the study period is 2.0±2.6 mol C m−2 year−1 employing the Wanninkhof parameterization, and 2.1±2.5 mol C m−2 year−1 based on Nightingale's model. To further understand the connection between the changes observed in the Cariaco Basin, the relationships between interannual variability in the temperature anomaly with three modes of climate variability (AMO, NAO and ENSO) were examined.