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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d92jan27

"Comments on the Role of Oceanic Biota as a Sink for Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions," S.V. Smith (Dept. Oceanog., Univ. Hawaii, Honolulu HI 96822), F.T. Mackenzie, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 5(3), 189-190, Sep. 1991.

A significant new production sink for CO2 can be demonstrated only if new production has increased substantially as CO2 emissions have increased; this requires increased nutrient supply, which is more likely in the coastal ocean than the open ocean. Research on open ocean production will not solve the problem of the "missing CO2" in global carbon budgets, yet coastal research programs are inadequately designed to address the global question.

Item #d92jan28

"Response to the Comment by S.V. Smith and F.T. Mackenzie," R. Revelle, ibid., 5(4), 317-318, Dec. 1991. Presents Revelle's contrasting views on carbon transport to the oceans prompted by the previous entry.

Item #d92jan29

The following three papers, ibid., are comments on a paper by Broecker in that journal (p. 191, Sep. 1991) questioning the importance of biological processes in the open ocean to the anthropogenic CO2 increase.

"False Advertising in the Greenhouse?" K. Banse (Sch. Oceanog., WB-10, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), 305-308. Argues for more biological-oceanographic emphasis in global change research, not less.

"A Reply to Broecker's Charges," A.R. Longhurst (Bedford Inst. Oceanog., Dartmouth, N.S. B2Y 4A2, Can.), 315-316. Broecker's argument that biological studies should have no place in research is incorrect and unfounded.

"Ocean Uptake of CO2: The Major Uncertainties," J.L. Sarmiento (Atmos.-Ocean Sci., Princeton Univ., Princeton NJ 08544), 309-314. The recent comments by Broecker and by Smith and Mackenzie (see above) both go too far in minimizing the importance of the biological pump in global change. Offers an overview of issues that are important in estimating oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2, and where the biological pump fits into them, as an attempt at a more balanced point of view.

Item #d92jan30

"Evolution of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study," Ambio, 20(7), 347, Nov. 1991. A summary from the IGBP Secretariat of the aims of the JGOFS, particularly with respect to the question of the relevance of ocean productivity to climate change. For information contact G. Evans, JGOFS, Büro, Inst. Meeredknd., Dusternbrooker Weg 20, D-2300 Kiel, Ger.

Item #d92jan31

Two articles from Eos, Nov. 19, 1991:

"Iron Fertilization with Volcanic Ash?" C.S. Spirakis (U.S. Geol. Survey, Denver, Colo.), 525. Periodic additions of iron-bearing volcanic ash to the oceans represent natural iron-fertilization experiments that could be evaluated for their effects on ocean productivity.

"Particle Flux Studies in the Indian Ocean," V. Ittekkot (Inst. Marine Chem., Univ. Hamburg, Bundesstr. 55, 200 Hamburg 13, Ger.), 527, 530. Presents initial results of studies supported by the governments of Germany and India, and their implications for marine uptake and storage of atmospheric CO2.

Item #d92jan32

"Development and Assessment of an Analytical System for the Accurate and Continual Measurement of Total Dissolved Inorganic Carbon," C. Robinson (Sch. Ocean Sci., Univ. College N. Wales, Menai Bridge LL59 5EY, UK), P.J. leB. Williams, Marine Chem., 43(3-4), 157-175, Oct. 1991. Permits high-density analyses (1-2 km resolution) while maintaining interlaboratory consistency and standardization.

Item #d92jan33

Two items from J. Geophys. Res., 96(C11), Nov. 15, 1991:

"Assessment of the Air-Sea Exchange of CO2 in the South Pacific during Austral Autumn," P.P. Murphy (PMEL, NOAA, 7600 Sand Pt. Way NE, Seattle WA 98115), R.A. Feely et al., 20,455-20,465. Basin-wide measurements in the air and in surface waters, taken during the austral autumn over a five-year period, were used to evaluate the seasonal flux of CO2 from the region, and its sensitivity to uncertainty in the CO2 gas exchange coefficient. The integrated autumn flux ranges from -0.03 GT of carbon (into the ocean) to +0.9, depending on the combination of wind field and wind-dependent exchange coefficient used.

Discussion: "We Still Say Iron Deficiency Limits Phytoplankton Growth in the Subarctic Pacific," J.H. Martin et al., 20,699-20,700; "Iron, Nitrate Uptake by Phytoplankton, and Mermaids," K. Banse, 20,701.

Item #d92jan34

"Do Upper-Ocean Sediment Traps Provide an Accurate Record of Particle Flux?" K.O. Buesseler (Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), Nature, 353(6343), 420-422, Oct. 3, 1991.

Sediment traps are important for estimating the extent to which CO2 fixed by primary producers is exported as particulate organic carbon, and it has been suggested that 234Th might be used to `calibrate' shallow-trap fluxes. This paper shows, however, that trap-derived and model-derived 234Th fluxes can differ by a factor of 3-10.

Item #d92jan35

"The Transport of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide into the Weddell Sea," L.G. Anderson (Chalmers Univ. Technol., S-412 96 Göteborg, Swed.), J. Geophys. Res., 96(C9), 16,679-16,687, Sep. 15, 1991.

Total carbonate data collected during the Swedish Antarctic Expedition in the Weddell Sea, one of the major deep-water formation areas, was combined with water mass mixing conditions and atmosphere-ocean CO2 exchange to estimate the anthropogenic input of CO2. The total sequestering in these waters is less than 1% of the annual anthropogenic emissions of about 5.5 GT.

Item #d92jan36

"CO2 Transport at the Air-Sea Interface: Effect of Coupling of Heat and Matter Fluxes," L.F. Phillips (Chem. Dept., Univ. Canterbury, Christchurch, N. Zealand), Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(7), 1221-1224, July 1991.

Contrary to existing calculations of air-sea CO2 flux, a proper description requires the use of irreversible thermodynamics; the heat and matter fluxes are coupled through the heat of solution of the gas. Shows that the driving force for CO2 transport due to temperature differences across the interface is comparable to that arising from the partial pressure difference.

Item #d92jan37

"A Modeling Investigation of the Role of Phytoplankton in the Balance of Carbon at the Surface of the North Atlantic," A.H. Taylor, A.H. Watson et al., Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 5(2), 151 ff., June 1991.

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