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Free Content Annual to interannual variations of fCO2 in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea: Results from hourly measurements made by CARIOCA buoys, 1995-1997

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A time series of fCO2, SST, and fluorescence data was collected between 1995 and 1997 by a CARIOCA buoy moored at the DyFAMed station (Dynamique des Flux Atmospheriques en Mediterranée) located in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. On seasonal timescales, the spring phytoplankton bloom decreases the surface water fCO2 to approximately 290 µatm, followed by summer heating and a strong increase in fCO2 to a maximum of approximately 510 µatm. While the ΔfCO2 shows strong variations on seasonal timescales, the annual average air-sea disequilibrium is only 2 µatm. Temperature-normalized fCO2 shows a continued decrease in dissolved CO2 throughout the summer and fall at a rate of approximately 0.6 µatm d-1. The calculated annual air-sea CO2 transfer rate is -0.10 to -0.15 moles CO2 m-2 y-1, with these low values reflecting the relatively weak wind speed regime and small annual air-sea fCO2 disequilibrium. Extrapolating this rate over the whole Mediterranean Sea would lead to a flux of approximately -3 × 1012 to -4.5 × 1012 grams C y-1, in good agreement with other estimates. An analysis of the effects of sampling frequency on annual air-sea CO2 flux estimates showed that monthly sampling is adequate to resolve the annual CO2 flux to within approximately ±10 - 18% at this site. Annual flux estimates made using temperature-derived fCO2 based on the measured fCO2-SST correlations are in agreement with measurement-based calculations to within ± 7-10% (depending on the gas transfer parameterization used), and suggest that annual CO2 flux estimates may be reasonably well predicted in this region from satellite or model-derived SST and wind speed information.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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