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Collapse of the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic CO2 sink in boreal spring of 2010
Ibánhez, J.S.P.; Flores, M.; Lefèvre, N. (2017). Collapse of the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic CO2 sink in boreal spring of 2010. NPG Scientific Reports 7(41694): 9 pp. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep41694
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Ibánhez, J.S.P.
  • Flores, M.
  • Lefèvre, N.

Abstract
    Following the 2009 Pacific El Nino, a warm event developed in the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic during boreal spring of 2010 promoted a significant increase in the CO2 fugacity of surface waters. This, together with the relaxation of the prevailing wind fields, resulted in the reversal of the atmospheric CO2 absorption capacity of the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic. In the region 0-30 degrees N, 62-10 degrees W, this climatic event led to the reversal of the climatological CO2 sink of -29.3Tg C to a source of CO2 to the atmosphere of 1.6 Tg C from February to May. The highest impact of this event is verified in the region of the North Equatorial Current, where the climatological CO2 uptake of -22.4 Tg for that period ceased during 2010 (1.2Tg C). This estimate is higher than current assessments of the multidecadal variability of the sea-air CO2 exchange for the entire North Atlantic (20Tg year(-1)), and highlights the potential impact of the increasing occurrence of extreme climate events over the oceanic CO2 sink and atmospheric CO2 composition.

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