The air-sea CO2 gradient at the subtropical NE Atlantic was strongly dependent on the metabolism of the planktonic community within the top cms, but independent of that of the communities deeper in the water column. Gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (R) of the planktonic community within the top cms exceeded those of the communities deeper in the water column by >10-fold and >7 fold, respectively. Net autotrophic metabolism (GPP > R) at the top cms of the water column in some stations drove CO2 uptake by creating a CO2 deficit at the ocean surface, while net heterotrophic metabolism (GPP < R) at the top cms of the water column in other stations resulted in strong CO2 supersaturation, driving CO2 emissions. These results suggest a strong control of the air-sea pCO2 anomaly by intense biological processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences