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Attribution of Space-Time Variability in Global-Ocean Dissolved Inorganic Carbon

Carroll, Dustin and Menemenlis, Dimitris and Dutkiewicz, Stephanie and Lauderdale, Jonathan M. and Adkins, Jess F. and Bowman, Kevin W. and Brix, Holger and Fenty, Ian and Gierach, Michelle M. and Hill, Chris and Jahn, Oliver and Landschützer, Peter and Manizza, Manfredi and Mazloff, Matt R. and Miller, Charles E. and Schimel, David S. and Verdy, Ariane and Whitt, Daniel B. and Zhang, Hong (2022) Attribution of Space-Time Variability in Global-Ocean Dissolved Inorganic Carbon. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 36 (3). Art. No. e2021GB007162. ISSN 0886-6236. doi:10.1029/2021GB007162.

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The inventory and variability of oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) is driven by the interplay of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Quantifying the spatiotemporal variability of these drivers is crucial for a mechanistic understanding of the ocean carbon sink and its future trajectory. Here, we use the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean-Darwin ocean biogeochemistry state estimate to generate a global-ocean, data-constrained DIC budget and investigate how spatial and seasonal-to-interannual variability in three-dimensional circulation, air-sea CO₂ flux, and biological processes have modulated the ocean sink for 1995–2018. Our results demonstrate substantial compensation between budget terms, resulting in distinct upper-ocean carbon regimes. For example, boundary current regions have strong contributions from vertical diffusion while equatorial regions exhibit compensation between upwelling and biological processes. When integrated across the full ocean depth, the 24-year DIC mass increase of 64 Pg C (2.7 Pg C year⁻¹) primarily tracks the anthropogenic CO₂ growth rate, with biological processes providing a small contribution of 2% (1.4 Pg C). In the upper 100 m, which stores roughly 13% (8.1 Pg C) of the global increase, we find that circulation provides the largest DIC gain (6.3 Pg C year⁻¹) and biological processes are the largest loss (8.6 Pg C year⁻¹). Interannual variability is dominated by vertical advection in equatorial regions, with the 1997–1998 El Niño-Southern Oscillation causing the largest year-to-year change in upper-ocean DIC (2.1 Pg C). Our results provide a novel, data-constrained framework for an improved mechanistic understanding of natural and anthropogenic perturbations to the ocean sink.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription code and platform-independent instructions for running ECCO-Darwin simulations ItemECCO-Darwin model output and DIC budget diagnostics
Carroll, Dustin0000-0003-1686-5255
Menemenlis, Dimitris0000-0001-9940-8409
Dutkiewicz, Stephanie0000-0002-0380-9679
Lauderdale, Jonathan M.0000-0002-2993-7484
Adkins, Jess F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Bowman, Kevin W.0000-0002-8659-1117
Brix, Holger0000-0003-4229-6164
Fenty, Ian0000-0001-6662-6346
Gierach, Michelle M.0000-0002-8161-4121
Hill, Chris0000-0003-3417-9056
Jahn, Oliver0000-0002-0130-5186
Landschützer, Peter0000-0002-7398-3293
Manizza, Manfredi0000-0001-6265-8367
Mazloff, Matt R.0000-0002-1650-5850
Miller, Charles E.0000-0002-9380-4838
Schimel, David S.0000-0003-3473-8065
Verdy, Ariane0000-0002-2774-2691
Whitt, Daniel B.0000-0002-3209-5572
Additional Information:© 2022. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 22 March 2022; Version of Record online: 22 March 2022; Accepted manuscript online: 11 March 2022; Manuscript accepted: 08 March 2022; Manuscript revised: 27 February 2022; Manuscript received: 17 August 2021. A portion of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004), with grants from ocean biology and biogeochemistry, physical oceanography, modeling, analysis, and prediction, and interdisciplinary studies programs. High-end computing resources were provided by the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division of the Ames Research Center. Government sponsorship acknowledged. MM acknowledges US National Science Foundation (NSF) awards PLR-1425989 and OPP-1936222. JML acknowledges NSF award PIRE-1545859 and the Simons Collaboration on Computational Biogeochemical Modeling of Marine Ecosystems (CBIOMES) award 549931. We thank Tim DeVries and an anonymous reviewer for their thoughtful and constructive criticism of this work. Data Availability Statement: ECCO-Darwin model output and DIC budget diagnostics are available at the ECCO Data Portal: Model code and platform-independent instructions for running ECCO-Darwin simulations are available at:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Simons Foundation549931
Subject Keywords:Carbon; Ocean; Sink; Budget; Model; Equatorial
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220315-626022000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Carroll, D., Menemenlis, D., Dutkiewicz, S., Lauderdale, J. M., Adkins, J. F., Bowman, K. W., et al. (2022). Attribution of space-time variability in global-ocean dissolved inorganic carbon. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 36, e2021GB007162.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113917
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:16 Mar 2022 17:15
Last Modified:14 Apr 2022 19:38

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