Reconciling the paradox that the heterotrophic waters of the East China Sea shelf act as a significant CO2 sink during the summertime: Evidence and implications

Wen Chen Chou, Gwo Ching Gong, David D. Sheu, Sen Jan, Chin Chang Hung, Chung Chi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To explore the paradox that the heterotrophic waters of the East China Sea (ECS) shelf act as a significant CO2 sink in summer, vertical structures of carbon chemistry and hydrography were examined in July 2007. The results show that waters above the pycnocline (-10 to 30 m) in the major CO 2 sink area are supersaturated with oxygen (110 ± 7%; autotrophic) but undersaturated with respect to atmospheric CO2 (△fCO2 = -130 ± 58 μatm; sink). In contrast, waters below the pycnocline are undersaturated with respect to oxygen (61 ± 16%; heterotrophic) but supersaturated with CO2 (△fCO2 = 116 ± 115 μatm; source). This demonstrates that summer stratification is the key factor maintaining the CO2 sink status in the heterotrophic ECS shelf waters. Furthermore, the shallow pycnocline can easily be broken down when strong mixing occurs, potentially allowing the respired CO2 stored in the subsurface waters to return to the atmospnere

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL15607
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume36
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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