. "Appendix C: Current Sources of Atmospheric and Oceanic Greenhouse Gas Data." Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.
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Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements
FIGURE C.1 Time trend of surface water pCO2 offshore Hawaii, showing the direct tracking with atmospheric CO2 forcing and the resultant change in ocean pH. The change in pH results from reaction with dissolved carbonate ion and causes a decline in the buffer capacity of seawater. The penetration to depth can also be seen in the changing subsurface data. SOURCE: Dore et al. (2009). Copyright 2009 National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
surements, greatly improved knowledge of the functioning of natural cycles, and an enormous increase in the anthropogenic CO2 signal.
The first demonstrated recovery of the anthropogenic CO2 signal from direct ocean measurements was by Brewer (1978), who corrected for the subsurface changes in dissolved CO2 due to respiration and carbonate dissolution and showed that the residual pCO2 signal closely resembles the atmospheric CO2 history of the water mass. An additional term to correct for local air-sea disequilibrium at the water mass source was applied by Gruber et al. (1996), and techniques such as these are widely used today. In addition, comparison of datasets from different cruise years now allows simple tracking of the changing ocean anthropogenic CO2 burden. An example of the ability to record the increasing storage of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean is shown in Figure C.2.
The chemistry of ocean methane (CH4) is complex (see the review by Reeburgh, 2007); determining the extent to which the atmosphere is affected and detecting and understanding regional changes (e.g., ocean basin scale, or preferably less) are considerable challenges. First, the global methane budget contains significant oceanic terms (Table C.2). The net ocean emissions to the atmosphere are only about 2 percent of the total, mostly because large amounts of methane originating in