TITLE

Reconstruction of the history of anthropogenic CO2 concentrations in the ocean

AUTHOR(S)
Khatiwala, S.; Primeau, F.; Hall, T.
PUB. DATE
November 2009
SOURCE
Nature;11/19/2009, Vol. 462 Issue 7271, p346
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The release of fossil fuel CO2 to the atmosphere by human activity has been implicated as the predominant cause of recent global climate change. The ocean plays a crucial role in mitigating the effects of this perturbation to the climate system, sequestering 20 to 35 per cent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Although much progress has been made in recent years in understanding and quantifying this sink, considerable uncertainties remain as to the distribution of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean, its rate of uptake over the industrial era, and the relative roles of the ocean and terrestrial biosphere in anthropogenic CO2 sequestration. Here we address these questions by presenting an observationally based reconstruction of the spatially resolved, time-dependent history of anthropogenic carbon in the ocean over the industrial era. Our approach is based on the recognition that the transport of tracers in the ocean can be described by a Green’s function, which we estimate from tracer data using a maximum entropy deconvolution technique. Our results indicate that ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 has increased sharply since the 1950s, with a small decline in the rate of increase in the last few decades. We estimate the inventory and uptake rate of anthropogenic CO2 in 2008 at 140 ± 25 Pg C and 2.3 ± 0.6 Pg C yr-1, respectively. We find that the Southern Ocean is the primary conduit by which this CO2 enters the ocean (contributing over 40 per cent of the anthropogenic CO2 inventory in the ocean in 2008). Our results also suggest that the terrestrial biosphere was a source of CO2 until the 1940s, subsequently turning into a sink. Taken over the entire industrial period, and accounting for uncertainties, we estimate that the terrestrial biosphere has been anywhere from neutral to a net source of CO2, contributing up to half as much CO2 as has been taken up by the ocean over the same period.
ACCESSION #
45272150

 

Related Articles

  • Changing Climate.  // Future Survey;Jan2008, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p11 

    A review of the article "Changing Climate," a supplement in the October 2007 issue of the "National Geographic," is presented. It is stated that human activity is the main cause of the rapid occurrence of climate change. The atmosphere has been flooded with heat trapping carbon dioxide from the...

  • Will the tropical land biosphere dominate the climate—carbon cycle feedback during the twenty-first century? Raddatz, T.J.; Reick, C.H.; Knorr, W.; Kattge, J.; Roeckner, E.; Schnur, R.; Schnitzler, K.-G.; Wetzel, P.; Jungclaus, J. // Climate Dynamics;Dec2007, Vol. 29 Issue 6, p565 

    Global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions is expected to reduce the capability of the ocean and the land biosphere to take up carbon. This will enlarge the fraction of the CO2 emissions remaining in the atmosphere, which in turn will reinforce future climate change. Recent model...

  • CLIMATE CHANGE TO THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM. Lenton, Timothy M. // Climatic Change;May2006, Vol. 76 Issue 1/2, p7 

    Anthropogenic climate change will continue long after anthropogenic CO2 emissions cease. Atmospheric CO2, global warming and ocean circulation will approach equilibrium on the millennial timescale, whereas thermal expansion of the ocean, ice sheet melt and their contributions to sea level rise...

  • State of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emission in Bangladesh. Azad, Abul K.; Nashreen, S. W.; Sultana, J. // AMBIO - A Journal of the Human Environment;Mar2006, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p86 

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most important gases in the atmosphere, and is necessary for sustaining life on Earth. It is also considered to be a major greenhouse gas contributing to global warming and climate change. In this article, energy consumption in Bangladesh is analyzed and...

  • Heterogeneous Beliefs and Climate Catastrophes. Kiseleva, Tatiana // Environmental & Resource Economics;Nov2016, Vol. 65 Issue 3, p599 

    We study how heterogeneous beliefs about the causes and extent of global warming affect local mitigation and adaptation strategies and therefore global climate dynamics. Local policies are determined by expectations of policy makers about future climate. There are three types of expectations:...

  • MELTING INTO THE MIND. Gillespie, Ed // Green Futures;Jan/Feb2006, Issue 56, p24 

    The article focuses on how to deal with the climate change in Great Britain. Nature writer Bill McKibben said that what the warming world needs is art. In one of his painting, Damien Hirst has had a go at representing the carbon dioxide by-product of lifestyles. To illustrate carbon dioxide,...

  • Carbon calculus. Cadogan, John // Wheels;Nov2007, p34 

    The author reflects on the carbon emission of vehicles in Australia, which constitutes 1.4 percent of the world's total. He mentions that atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest, which jumped from 280 parts per million (PPM) at the start of the 20th century to 380 PPM today. The author agrees...

  • The oceanic response to carbon emissions over the next century: investigation using three ocean carbon cycle models. Chuck, A.; Tyrrell, T.; Totterdell, I. J.; Holligan, P. M. // Tellus: Series B;Feb2005, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p70 

    A recent study of coupled atmospheric carbon dioxide and the biosphere (Cox et al., 2000,Nature,408, 184�187) found alarming sensitivity of next-century atmosphericpCO2 (and hence planetary temperature) to uncertainties in terrestrial processes. Here we investigate whether there is similar...

  • Will "Peak Coal" Limit Warming? Pease, Craig M. // Environmental Forum;Sep/Oct2008, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p18 

    The article discusses the rapid increase in Earth's temperature in the advent of global climate change ensued by the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels due to heavy and uncontrolled emissions. It states that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded a 3-degree...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics