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Science. 2010 Jul 30;329(5991):556-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1189338. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Decrease in the CO2 uptake capacity in an ice-free Arctic Ocean basin.

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  • 1Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. wcai@uga.edu

Abstract

It has been predicted that the Arctic Ocean will sequester much greater amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as a result of sea ice melt and increasing primary productivity. However, this prediction was made on the basis of observations from either highly productive ocean margins or ice-covered basins before the recent major ice retreat. We report here a high-resolution survey of sea-surface CO2 concentration across the Canada Basin, showing a great increase relative to earlier observations. Rapid CO2 invasion from the atmosphere and low biological CO2 drawdown are the main causes for the higher CO2, which also acts as a barrier to further CO2 invasion. Contrary to the current view, we predict that the Arctic Ocean basin will not become a large atmospheric CO2 sink under ice-free conditions.

PMID:
20651119
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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