D. R. Munday, H. L. Johnson and D. P. Marshall, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, in press.
An idealised numerical ocean model is used to investigate the sensitivity of the partial pressure of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) to changes in surface wind stress when mesoscale eddies are permitted in the flow. When wind stress increases, pCO2 increases, and vice versa when the wind stress is decreased. The introduction of mesoscale eddies reduces the overall sensitivity of pCO2 by changing the sensitivity of ocean carbon storage due to the saturation state of carbon dioxide, the net disequilibrium, soft tissue carbon, and the carbonate pump. However, a full carbon pump decomposition shows different responses for different ocean carbon storage terms, for example, air-sea disequilibrium is actually more sensitive to increased winds at eddy-permitting resolution, whereas soft tissue carbon is much less sensitive to wind changes in an eddying ocean. Changes in pycnocline depth and the strength of both upper and lower cells of the meridional overturning circulation affect this sensitivity.
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