Quantifying the feedback between ocean heating and CO2 solubility as an equivalent carbon emission

Goodwin, P. and Lenton, T.M. (2009) Quantifying the feedback between ocean heating and CO2 solubility as an equivalent carbon emission. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (15). L15609. DOI 10.1029/2009GL039247

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Abstract

There are inherent difficulties in quantifying carbon cycle-climate feedbacks over the 21st century because the system is in a transient state. The conventional approach of deriving gain factors only strictly applies at equilibrium, and they differ with scenario and with respect to different climate variables (e.g., CO2, radiative forcing, and temperature) which have different time lags. Here we show that the positive feedback whereby ocean heating reduces the solubility of CO2 can be quantified in a scenario-independent way, directly from ocean heat content changes, by expressing it as an ‘equivalent carbon emission’. On annual to centennial timescales, the feedback has the same impact on atmospheric CO2 as an equivalent emission flux of fossil fuel carbon. From ocean heat-content data we quantify the ocean heating-CO2 solubility positive feedback, which increased in average strength from an equivalent emission of ~0.08 PgC yr−1 over 1961-2003 to ~0.19 PgC yr−1 during 1993-2003.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 36
Page Range: L15609
Identification Number: 10.1029/2009GL039247
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2011 13:54
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:03
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2294

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