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Atmospheric Circulation Patterns

Year: 2009 Author: Giulio Frigieri
Carbon cycling in the world’s oceans. The flow of carbon dioxide across the air-sea interface is a function of CO2 solubility in sea water (Solubility Pump). The amount of CO2 dissolved in sea water is mainly influenced by physico-chemical conditions (sea water temperature, salinity, total alkalinity) and biological processes, e.g. primary production. The solubility pump and the biological pump enhance the uptake of CO2 by the surface ocean influencing its values for dissolved CO2 and transferring carbon to deep waters. All these mechanisms are strongly connected, subtly balanced and influential to the ocean’s capacity to sink carbon. The net effect of the biological pump in itself is to keep the atmosphere concentration of CO2 around 30% of what it would be in its absence (Siegenthaler and Sarmiento, 1993).
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