Global ocean storage of anthropogenic carbon

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Author(s) Khatiwala S., Tanhua, T., Fletcher, S. Mikaloff, Gerber, M., Doney, S. C., Graven, H. D., Gruber, N., McKinley, G. A., Murata, A., Rios, A. F., Sabine, C. L., Sarmiento, J. L.
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Global ocean storage of anthropogenic carbon
Author(s) Khatiwala S.
Tanhua, T.
Fletcher, S. Mikaloff
Gerber, M.
Doney, S. C.
Graven, H. D.
Gruber, N.
McKinley, G. A.
Murata, A.
Rios, A. F.
Sabine, C. L.
Sarmiento, J. L.
Journal or Series Title Biogeosciences discussions
Volume Number 9
Start Page 8931
End Page 8988
ISSN 1810-6277
Publisher Copernicus Publ.
Publication Place Katlenburg-Lindau
Publication Date 2012
Abstract The global ocean is a significant sink for anthropogenic carbon (Cant), absorbing roughly a third of human CO2 emitted over the industrial period. Robust estimates of the magnitude and variability of the storage and distribution of Cant in the ocean are therefore important for understanding the human impact on climate. In this synthesis we review observational and model-based estimates of the storage and transport of Cant in the ocean. We pay particular attention to the uncertainties and potential biases inherent in different inference schemes. On a global scale, three data based estimates of the distribution and inventory of Cant are now available. While the inventories are found to agree within their uncertainty, there are considerable differences in the spatial distribution. We also present a review of the progress made in the application of inverse and data-assimilation techniques which combine ocean interior estimates of Cant with numerical ocean circulation models. Such methods are especially useful for estimating the air-sea flux and interior transport of Cant, quantities that are otherwise difficult to observe directly. However, the results are found to be highly dependent on modeled circulation, with the spread due to different ocean models at least as large as that from the different observational methods used to estimate Cant. Our review also highlights the importance of repeat measurements of hydrographic and biogeochemical parameters to estimate the storage of Cant on decadal timescales in the presence of the variability in circulation that is neglected by other approaches. Data-based Cant estimates provide important constraints on ocean forward models, which exhibit both broad similarities and regional errors relative to the observational fields. A compilation of inventories of Cant gives us a "best" estimate of the global ocean inventory of anthropogenic carbon in 2010 of 155 Pg C with an uncertainty of ±20%. This estimate includes a broad range of values suggesting that a combination of approaches is necessary in order to achieve a robust quantification of the ocean sink of anthropogenic CO2.
DOI 10.5194/bgd-9-8931-2012
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
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Source Database ID FORM-1359381799
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@article{Khtwl2012,
  author = "Khatiwala S. and Tanhua, T. and Fletcher, S. Mikaloff and Gerber, M. and Doney, S. C. and Graven, H. D. and Gruber, N. and McKinley, G. A. and Murata, A. and Rios, A. F. and Sabine, C. L. and Sarmiento, J. L.",
  title = "{G}lobal ocean storage of anthropogenic carbon",
  journal = "Biogeosciences discussions",
  year = 2012,
  volume = "9",
  pages = "8931--8988",
}


E-Citations record created: Mon, 28 Jan 2013, 14:03:23 CET