Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Air-sea carbon dioxide exchange in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Sea ice zone
by Butterworth, Brian J., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2016, 153; 10149297
Abstract (Summary)

The Southern Ocean is an important part of the global carbon cycle, responsible for roughly half of the carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbed by the global ocean. The air-sea CO2 flux (Fc) can be expressed as the product of the water-air CO2 partial pressure difference (ΔpCO2) and the gas transfer velocity ( k), an exchange coefficient which represents the efficiency of gas exchange. Generally, Fc is negative (a sink) throughout the Southern Ocean and Antarctic sea ice zone (SIZ), but uncertainty in k has made it difficult to develop an accurate regional carbon budget. Constraining the functional dependence of k on wind speed in open water environments, and quantifying the effect of sea ice on k, will reduce uncertainty in the estimated contribution of the Southern Ocean and Antarctic SIZ to the global carbon cycle.

To investigate Fc in the Southern Ocean, a ruggedized, unattended, closed-path eddy covariance (EC) system was deployed on the Antarctic research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer for nine cruises during 18 months from January 2013 to June 2014 in the Southern Ocean and coastal Antarctica. The methods are described and results are shown for two cruises chosen for their latitudinal range, inclusion of open water and sea ice cover, and large ΔpCO2. The results indicated that ship-based unattended EC measurements in high latitudes are feasible, and recommendations for deployments in such environments were provided.

Measurements of Fc and ΔpCO2 were used to compute k. The open water data showed a quadratic relationship between k (cm hr–1) and the neutral 10-m wind speed (U10n, m s –1), k=0.245 U10n 2+1.3, in close agreement with tracer-based results and much lower than previous EC studies. In the SIZ, it was found that k decreased in proportion to sea ice cover. This contrasted findings of enhanced Fc in the SIZ by previous open-path EC campaigns. Using the NBP results a net annual Southern Ocean (ocean south of 30°S) carbon flux of –1.1 PgC yr–1 was calculated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miller, Scott D.
Commitee: Fitzjarrald, David R., Freedman, Jeffrey M., Liu, Jiping, Saltzman, Eric S., Zappa, Christopher J.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Atmospheric sciences
Keywords: Air-sea flux, Carbon dioxide, Eddy covariance, Gas transfer velocity, Piston velocity, Sea ice
Publication Number: 10149297
ISBN: 978-1-369-04415-7
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