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Roles of Physical Processes in the Carbon Cycle Using a Simplified Physical Model

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Abstract

A simplified physical model is proposed in this article to describe differences among basins in substance distributions which were not well described by previous simplified models. In the proposed model, the global ocean is divided into the Pacific/Indian Ocean (PI), the Atlantic Ocean (AT), the Southern Ocean and the Greenland/Iceland/Norwegian Sea. The model is consisted of five physical parameters, namely the air-sea gas exchange, the thermohaline circulation, the horizontal and vertical diffusions, and the deep convection in the high-latitude regions. Individual values of these parameters are chosen by optimizing model distribution of natural 14C as a physical tracer. The optimal value for a coefficient of vertical diffusion in the low-latitude region is 7.5 × 10−5 [m2s−1]. Vertical transports by the Antarctic Bottom Water and the North Atlantic Deep Water are estimated at 1.0 Sv and 9.0 Sv. Global-mean air-sea gas exchange time is calculated at 9.0 years. Using these optimal values, vertical profiles of dissolved inorganic carbon without biological production in PI and AT are estimated. Oceanic responses to anthropogenic fluctuations in substance concentrations in the atmosphere induced by the industrialization and nuclear bomb are also discribed, i.e., the effects appear significantly in AT while a signal is extremely weak in PI. A time-delay term is effective to make the PI water older near the bottom boundary.

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Fujii, M., Ikeda, M. & Yamanaka, Y. Roles of Physical Processes in the Carbon Cycle Using a Simplified Physical Model. Journal of Oceanography 56, 655–666 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011173616231

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