Mechanisms controlling the air–sea CO2 flux in the North Sea

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2009

Without internal affiliation

  • Author: Prowe, A.E. Friederike

    Dalhousie University

  • Author: Thomas, Helmuth

  • Author: Pätsch, Johannes

    University of Hamburg

  • Author: Kühn, Wilfried

    University of Hamburg

  • Author: Bozec, Yann

  • Author: Schiettecatte, Laure-Sophie

    University of Liege, Belgium

  • Author: Borges, Alberto V.

    University of Liege, Belgium

  • Author: de Baar, Hein J.W.

    Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research - NIOZ

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The mechanisms driving the air–sea exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the North Sea are investigated using the three-dimensional coupled physical–biogeochemical model ECOHAM (ECOlogical-model, HAMburg). We validate our simulations using field data for the years 2001–2002 and identify the controls of the air–sea CO2 flux for two locations representative for the North Sea's biogeochemical provinces. In the seasonally stratified northern region, net CO2 uptake is high (2.06molm-2a-1) due to high net community production (NCP) in the surface water. Overflow production releasing semi-labile dissolved organic carbon needs to be considered for a realistic simulation of the low dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations observed during summer. This biologically driven carbon drawdown outcompetes the temperature-driven rise in CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) during the productive season. In contrast, the permanently mixed southern region is a weak net CO2 source (0.78molm-2a-1). NCP is generally low except for the spring bloom because remineralization parallels primary production. Here, the pCO2 appears to be controlled by temperature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number15
Pages (from-to)1801-1808
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 27
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ID: 6678378