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The open-ocean source of atmospheric carbon monoxide

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Aron Stubbins, Dr Guenther Uher, Dr Vassilis Kitidis, Professor Robert Upstill-GoddardORCiD, Sarah Woodward


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Carbon monoxide (CO) atmospheric mixing ratios and surface-water concentrations were determined during Atlantic Meridional Transect cruise number 10, April-May 2000. Atmospheric CO increased from south (mean=74±9 ppbv) to north (mean=151±19 ppbv) with a steep increase around the intertropical convergence zone. Surface-water CO (0.2-2.6 nmol L-1) showed pronounced diurnal variations with afternoon maxima exceeding pre-dawn minima 5-7 fold. Modest regional variations, as indicated by maximum daily CO concentrations, were also observed. Highest CO maxima occurred at ∼11.5°N, where high solar irradiance was combined with elevated coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) levels and modest winds, while lowest CO maxima occurred during periods of high winds and lowest solar irradiance near the western European margin at 45°N. Atlantic Ocean CO emissions were estimated to be 1.5±1.1 Tg CO-C yr-1 based on near-instantaneous atmospheric CO, sea-surface CO and windspeeds from the cruise. However, as spatial and temporal variability in both terms was considered to be unique to the timing and path of the cruise, the mean Atlantic diel cycle of sea-surface CO concentration was estimated by pooling all cruise data into 1-h sections, yielding a mean of 0.94 nmol L-1; and diurnal variations from 0.4 to 1.6 nmol L-1. Using the mean diurnal cycle, the Atlantic and global open-ocean sources of CO to the atmosphere were estimated to be 0.9±0.6 and 3.7±2.6 Tg CO-C yr-1, respectively. Therefore it is our contention that IPCC-2001 (Prather, M., Ehhalt, D., Dentener, F., Derwent, R., Dlugokencky, E., Holland, E., Isaksen, I., Katima, J., Kirchhoff, V., Matson, P., Midgley, P., Wang, M., 2001. Chapter 4: Atmospheric chemistry and greenhouse gases. In: Houghton, J.T., Ding, Y., Griggs, D.J., Noguer, M., van der Linden, P.J., Dai, X., Maskell, K., Johnson, C.A. (Eds.), Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of working group 1 to the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 239-287; 21 Tg CO-C yr-1) overestimates the source of atmospheric CO from the global ocean by around 5 fold. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stubbins A, Uher G, Kitidis V, Law CS, Upstill-Goddard RC, Malcolm E, Woodward S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography

Year: 2006

Volume: 53

Issue: 14-16

Pages: 1685-1694

Print publication date: 01/07/2006

ISSN (print): 0967-0645

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.05.010


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