Quantification of chaotic intrinsic variability of sea-air CO2 fluxes at interannual timescales
A group of oceanographers have performed three global ocean simulations to analyse the interannual variability of regional CO2 exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere. Results show that these interannual fluctuations are mostly controlled by the atmosphere in many regions, but that they are significantly impacted by non-linear chaotic oceanic processes where mesoscale activity is large. In such key regions (e.g. the mid-latitude Southern Ocean, see the figure below), up to 76% of the interannual variance of air-sea CO2 fluxes have an oceanic origin, and has a chaotic year-to-year evolution that may hinder its predictability.
Reference: Gehlen, M., Berthet, S., Séférian, R., et al. (2020). Quantification of Chaotic Intrinsic Variability of sea-air CO2 Fluxes at Interannual Timescales. Geophys. Res. Lett., 47, e2020GL088304. Accepted Author Manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL088304