Coastal metabolism and the oceanic organic carbon balance

Coastal metabolism and the oceanic organic carbon balance Net organic metabolism (that is, the difference between primary production and respiration of organic matter) in the coastal ocean may be a significant term in the oceanic carbon budget. Historical change in the rate of this net metabolism determines the importance of the coastal ocean relative to anthropogenic perturbations of the global carbon cycle. Consideration of long‐term rates of river loading of organic carbon, organic burial, chemical reactivity of land‐derived organic matter, and rates of community metabolism in the coastal zone leads us to estimate that the coastal zone oxidizes about 7 × 1012 moles C/yr. The open ocean is apparently also a site of net organic oxidation (∼16 × 1012 moles C/yr). Thus organic metabolism in the ocean appears to be a source of CO2 release to the atmosphere rather than being a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. The small area of the coastal ocean accounts for about 30% of the net oceanic oxidation. Oxidation in the coastal zone (especially in bays and estuaries) takes on particular importance, because the input rate is likely to have been altered substantially by human activities on land. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reviews of Geophysics Wiley

Coastal metabolism and the oceanic organic carbon balance

Reviews of Geophysics, Volume 31 (1) – Feb 1, 1993

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1993 by the American Geophysical Union.
ISSN
8755-1209
eISSN
1944-9208
DOI
10.1029/92RG02584
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Net organic metabolism (that is, the difference between primary production and respiration of organic matter) in the coastal ocean may be a significant term in the oceanic carbon budget. Historical change in the rate of this net metabolism determines the importance of the coastal ocean relative to anthropogenic perturbations of the global carbon cycle. Consideration of long‐term rates of river loading of organic carbon, organic burial, chemical reactivity of land‐derived organic matter, and rates of community metabolism in the coastal zone leads us to estimate that the coastal zone oxidizes about 7 × 1012 moles C/yr. The open ocean is apparently also a site of net organic oxidation (∼16 × 1012 moles C/yr). Thus organic metabolism in the ocean appears to be a source of CO2 release to the atmosphere rather than being a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. The small area of the coastal ocean accounts for about 30% of the net oceanic oxidation. Oxidation in the coastal zone (especially in bays and estuaries) takes on particular importance, because the input rate is likely to have been altered substantially by human activities on land.

Journal

Reviews of GeophysicsWiley

Published: Feb 1, 1993

References

  • Hydrography of the Dutch Wadden Sea
    Postma, Postma
  • Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of CO 2 gas flux across the air‐water interface
    Smith, Smith
  • The ocean as a net heterotrophic system: Implications from the carbon biogeochemical cycle
    Smith, Smith; Mackenzie, Mackenzie
  • Comments on the role of oceanic biota as a sink for anthropogenic CO 2 emissions
    Smith, Smith; Mackenzie, Mackenzie

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