The northern European shelf as increasing net sink for CO2

We developed a simple method to refine existing open ocean maps towards different coastal seas. Using a multi linear regression we produced monthly maps of surface ocean fCO2 in the northern European coastal seas (North Sea, Baltic Sea, Norwegian Coast and in the Barents Sea) covering a time period from 1998 to 2016. A comparison with gridded SOCAT v5 data revealed standard deviations of the residuals 0 ± 26 μatm in the North Sea, 0 ± 16 μatm along the Norwegian Coast, 0 ± 19 μatm in the Barents Sea, and 2 ± 42 μatm in the Baltic Sea.We used these maps as basis to investigate trends in fCO2, pH and air-sea CO2 flux. The surface ocean fCO2 trends are smaller than the atmospheric trend in most of the studied region. Only the western part of the North Sea is showing an increase in fCO2 close to 2 μatm yr−1, which is similar to the atmospheric trend. The Baltic Sea does not show a significant trend. Here, the variability was much larger than possibly observable trends. Consistently, the pH trends were smaller than expected for an increase of fCO2 in pace with the rise of atmospheric CO2 levels. The calculated air-sea CO2 fluxes revealed that most regions were net sinks for CO2. Only the southern North Sea and the Baltic Sea emitted CO2 to the atmosphere. Especially in the northern regions the sink strength increased during the studied period.

Becker M., Olsen A., Landschützer P., Omar A., Rehder G., Rödenbeck C. & Skjelvan I., 2019. The northern European shelf as increasing net sink for CO2. Biogeosciences Discussions. Article.

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