Increase in total carbonate in the western North Pacific water and a hypothesis on the missing sink of anthropogenic carbon
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- Tsunogai, S., Ono, T. & Watanabe, S. J Oceanogr (1993) 49: 305. doi:10.1007/BF02269568
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Sea water samples were collected from various depths in the North Pacific (40–21°N) along 165°E in 1991. Their total carbonate (total dissolved carbonate species) contents were determined with random errors less than 0.2% by a coulometric method. The preformed carbonate contents defined by Chen (1982) were calculated from the obtained data and other observed data including potential temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and total alkalinity. The same calculation was done for the GEOSECS data obtained in nearly the same region in 1973. The difference between the two data sets reveals that the preformed carbonate has increased by 180±41 gC/m2 during the last 18 years. This value is comparable or somewhat larger than 150 gC/m2 obtained in the case that the ocean uptakes 3 GtC/yr for 18 years and distributes it equally among the world oceans. Based on the results, a hypothesis on the missing sink for the anthropogenic carbon dioxide is presented, in that the missing sink is the intermediate waters formed in the northern North Pacific and the Southern Ocean besides the deep waters formed in the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean.