Without internal affiliation

  • Author: Kühn, Wilfried

    Universität Hamburg, Germany

  • Author: Pätsch, Johannes

    Universität Hamburg

  • Author: Thomas, Helmuth

    Dalhousie University, Canada

  • Author: Borges, Alberto V.

    University of Liege, Belgium

  • Author: Schiettecatte, Laure-Sophie

    University of Liege, Belgium

  • Author: Bozec, Yann

    Station Biologique de Roscoff, F-29682 Roscoff, France

  • Author: Prowe, A.E. Friederike

    Leibniz Institut für Meereswissenschaften, Universität Kiel

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The 3-d coupled physical–biogeochemical model ECOHAM (version 3) was applied to the Northwest-European Shelf (47°41′–63°53′N, 15°5′W–13°55′E) for the years 1993–1996. Carbon fluxes were calculated for the years 1995 and 1996 for the inner shelf region, the North Sea (511,725km2). This period was chosen because it corresponds to a shift from a very high winter-time North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) in 1994/1995, to an extremely low one in 1995/1996, with consequences for the North Sea physics and biogeochemistry. During the first half of 1996, the observed mean SST was about 1°C lower than in 1995; in the southern part of the North Sea the difference was even larger (up to 3°C). Due to a different wind regime, the normally prevailing anti-clockwise circulation, as found in winter 1995, was replaced by more complicated circulation patterns in winter 1996. Decreased precipitation over the drainage area of the continental rivers led to a reduction in the total (inorganic and organic) riverine carbon load to the North Sea from 476GmolCyr−1 in 1995 to 340GmolCyr−1 in 1996. In addition, the North Sea took up 503GmolCyr−1 of CO2 from the atmosphere. According to our calculations, the North Sea was a sink for atmospheric CO2, at a rate of 0.98molCm−2yr−1, for both years. The North Sea is divided into two sub-systems: the shallow southern North Sea (SNS; 190,765km2) and the deeper northern North Sea (NNS; 320,960km2). According to our findings the SNS is a net-autotrophic system (net ecosystem production NEP>0) but released CO2 to the atmosphere: 159GmolCyr−1 in 1995 and 59GmolCyr−1 in 1996. There, the temperature-driven release of CO2 outcompetes the biological CO2 drawdown. In the NNS, where respiratory processes prevail (NEP
Original languageEnglish
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)1701-1716
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 17
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ID: 6677605