Regional impacts of climate change and atmospheric CO2 on future ocean carbon uptake: A multi-model linear feedback analysis

Roy, Tilla; Bopp, Laurent; Gehlen, Marion; Schneider, Birgit; Cadule, Patricia; Frölicher, Thomas L.; Segschneider, Joachim; Tjiputra, Jerry; Heinze, Christoph; Joos, Fortunat (2011). Regional impacts of climate change and atmospheric CO2 on future ocean carbon uptake: A multi-model linear feedback analysis. Journal of Climate, 24(9), pp. 2300-2318. American Meteorological Society 10.1175/2010JCLI3787.1

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The increase in atmospheric CO2 over this century depends on the evolution of the oceanic air–sea CO2 uptake, which will be driven by the combined response to rising atmospheric CO2 itself and climate change. Here, the future oceanic CO2 uptake is simulated using an ensemble of coupled climate–carbon cycle models. The models are driven by CO2 emissions from historical data and the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2 high-emission scenario. A linear feedback analysis successfully separates the regional future (2010–2100) oceanic CO2 uptake into a CO2-induced component, due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and a climate-induced component, due to global warming. The models capture the observation-based magnitude and distribution of anthropogenic CO2 uptake. The distributions of the climate-induced component are broadly consistent between the models, with reduced CO2 uptake in the subpolar Southern Ocean and the equatorial regions, owing to decreased CO2 solubility; and reduced CO2 uptake in the midlatitudes, owing to decreased CO2 solubility and increased vertical stratification. The magnitude of the climate-induced component is sensitive to local warming in the southern extratropics, to large freshwater fluxes in the extratropical North Atlantic Ocean, and to small changes in the CO2 solubility in the equatorial regions. In key anthropogenic CO2 uptake regions, the climate-induced component offsets the CO2-induced component at a constant proportion up until the end of this century. This amounts to approximately 50% in the northern extratropics and 25% in the southern extratropics and equatorial regions. Consequently, the detection of climate change impacts on anthropogenic CO2 uptake may be difficult without monitoring additional tracers, such as oxygen.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics

UniBE Contributor:

Frölicher, Thomas and Joos, Fortunat




American Meteorological Society




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:28

Last Modified:

01 Jul 2021 15:26

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Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 216036)

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