Reconciling Observation and Model Trends in North Atlantic Surface CO2

Type Article
Date 2019-10
Language English
Author(s) Lebehot Alice D.1, 2, 3, Halloran Paul Richard1, Watson Andrew J.1, McNeall Doug4, Ford David A.4, Landschuetzer Peter5, Lauvset Siv K.ORCID6, 7, Schuster Ute1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Exeter, Coll Life & Environm Studies, Geog, Laver Bldg, Exeter, Devon, England.
2 : Univ Cape Town, Marine Res Inst, Dept Oceanog, Cape Town, South Africa.
3 : CSIR, SOCCO, Cape Town, South Africa.
4 : Met Off, Exeter, Devon, England.
5 : Max Planck Inst Meteorol, Hamburg, Germany.
6 : Bjerknes Ctr Climate Res, NORCE Norwegian Res Ctr, Bergen, Norway.
7 : Univ Bergen, Bjerknes Ctr Climate Res, Geophys Inst, Bergen, Norway.
Source Global Biogeochemical Cycles (0886-6236) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2019-10 , Vol. 33 , N. 10 , P. 1204-1222
DOI 10.1029/2019GB006186
WOS© Times Cited 9

The North Atlantic Ocean is a region of intense uptake of atmospheric CO2. To assess how this CO2 sink has evolved over recent decades, various approaches have been used to estimate basin-wide uptake from the irregularly sampled in situ CO2 observations. Until now, the lack of robust uncertainties associated with observation-based gap-filling methods required to produce these estimates has limited the capacity to validate climate model simulated surface ocean CO2 concentrations. After robustly quantifying basin-wide and annually varying interpolation uncertainties using both observational and model data, we show that the North Atlantic surface ocean fugacity of CO2 (fCO(2-ocean)) increased at a significantly slower rate than that simulated by the latest generation of Earth System Models during the period 1992-2014. We further show, with initialized model simulations, that the inability of these models to capture the observed trend in surface fCO(2-ocean) is primarily due to biases in the models' ocean biogeochemistry. Our results imply that current projections may underestimate the contribution of the North Atlantic to mitigating increasing future atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 19 2 MB Open access
Supporting Information S1 45 4 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Lebehot Alice D., Halloran Paul Richard, Watson Andrew J., McNeall Doug, Ford David A., Landschuetzer Peter, Lauvset Siv K., Schuster Ute (2019). Reconciling Observation and Model Trends in North Atlantic Surface CO2. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33(10), 1204-1222. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :