Denitrification effects on air-sea CO2 flux in the coastal ocean: Simulations for the northwest North Atlantic

Katja Fennel, John Wilkin, Michael Previdi, Raymond Gabriel Najjar, Jr.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The contribution of coastal oceans to the global air-sea CO2 flux is poorly quantified due to insufficient availability of observations and inherent variability of physical, biological and chemical processes. We present simulated air-sea CO2 fluxes from a high-resolution biogeochemical model for the North American east coast continental shelves, a region characterized by significant sediment denitrification. Decreased availability of fixed nitrogen due to denitrification reduces primary production and incorporation of inorganic carbon into organic matter, which leads to an increase in seawater pCO2, but also increases alkalinity, which leads to an opposing decrease in seawater pCO2. Comparison of simulations with different numerical treatments of denitrification and alkalinity allow us to separate and quantify the contributions of sediment denitrification to air-sea CO2 flux. The effective alkalinity flux resulting from denitrification is large compared to estimates of anthropogenically driven coastal acidification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24608
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 28 2008

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alkalinity
denitrification
oceans
air
ocean
simulation
availability
sediments
seawater
continental shelves
coasts
inorganic carbon
chemical process
biological processes
sediment
acidification
primary production
continental shelf
nitrogen
sea

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The contribution of coastal oceans to the global air-sea CO2 flux is poorly quantified due to insufficient availability of observations and inherent variability of physical, biological and chemical processes. We present simulated air-sea CO2 fluxes from a high-resolution biogeochemical model for the North American east coast continental shelves, a region characterized by significant sediment denitrification. Decreased availability of fixed nitrogen due to denitrification reduces primary production and incorporation of inorganic carbon into organic matter, which leads to an increase in seawater pCO2, but also increases alkalinity, which leads to an opposing decrease in seawater pCO2. Comparison of simulations with different numerical treatments of denitrification and alkalinity allow us to separate and quantify the contributions of sediment denitrification to air-sea CO2 flux. The effective alkalinity flux resulting from denitrification is large compared to estimates of anthropogenically driven coastal acidification.",
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Denitrification effects on air-sea CO2 flux in the coastal ocean : Simulations for the northwest North Atlantic. / Fennel, Katja; Wilkin, John; Previdi, Michael; Najjar, Jr., Raymond Gabriel.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, No. 24, L24608, 28.12.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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