Decrease in air-sea CO2 fluxes caused by persistent marine heatwaves

Type Article
Date 2022-12
Language English
Author(s) Mignot AlexandreORCID1, von Schuckmann Karina1, Landschützer Peter2, Gasparin Florent1, Van Gennip Simon1, Perruche CoralieORCID1, Lamouroux Julien1, Amm Tristan1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Mercator Océan International, Toulouse, France
2 : Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
Source Nature Communications (2041-1723) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2022-12 , Vol. 13 , N. 1 , P. 4300 (9p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-31983-0
Keyword(s) Marine chemistry, Physical oceanography

Regional processes play a key role in the global carbon budget. Major ocean CO2 uptake at mid-latitudes counteracts CO2 release in the tropics, which is modulated by episodes of marine heatwaves. Yet, we lack essential knowledge on persistent marine heatwaves, and their effect on the CO2 sensitive areas. Here we show, using a 1985–2017 joint analysis of reconstructions, ocean reanalysis and in situ and satellite data, that persistent marine heatwaves occur in major CO2 uptake and release areas. Average air-sea CO2 flux density changes from persistent marine heatwaves are strongest in the Pacific Ocean with a 40 ± 9% reduction in CO2 release in the tropics linked to ENSO, and a reduction in CO2 uptake of 29 ± 11% in the North Pacific over the study period. These results provide new insights into the interplay of extreme variability and a critical regulating ocean ecosystem service, and pave the way for future investigations on its evolution under climate change.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 9 1 MB Open access
Supplementary Information 13 1 MB Open access
Top of the page