Uptake and sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in the Labrador Sea deep convection region

M. D. DeGrandpre, A. Körtzinger, U. Send, D. W.R. Wallace, R. G.J. Bellerby

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29 Scopus citations


The Labrador Sea is an important area of deep water formation and is hypothesized to be a significant sink for atmospheric CO2 to the deep ocean. Here we examine the dynamics of the CO2 system in the Labrador Sea using time-serjes data obtained from instrumentation deployed on a mooring near the former Ocean Weather Station Bravo. A 1-D model is used to determine the air-sea CO2 uptake and penetration of the CO 2 into intermediate waters. The results support that mixed-layer pCO2 remained undersaturated throughout most of the year, ranging from 220 μatm in mid-summer to 375 μatm in the late spring. Net community production in the summer offset the increase in pCO2 expected from heating and air-sea uptake. In the fall and winter, cooling counterbalanced a predicted increase in pCO2 from vertical convection and air-sea uptake. The predicted annual mean air to sea flux was 4.6 mol m-2 yr-1 resulting in an annual uptake of 0.011 ± 0.005 Pg C from the atmosphere within the convection region. In 2001, approximately half of the atmospheric CO2 penetrated below 500 m due to deep convection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL21S03
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2006


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