University of Cambridge > > British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans seminar series > The Weddell Gyre: Freshwater and carbon budgets and exports to the global ocean abyss

The Weddell Gyre: Freshwater and carbon budgets and exports to the global ocean abyss

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The Weddell Gyre is regarded as the primary location of deep and bottom water formation and sequestration of carbon, nutrients and atmospheric gases in the Southern Ocean. These processes are critically reliant on the freshwater balance of the region, as at low temperatures density, and by extension stratification, circulation and deep water formation, depends almost entirely upon salinity. Freshwater partitioning and natural and anthropogenic carbon budgets and fluxes are investigated here through oxygen isotope, transient tracer and inorganic carbon measurements from three hydrographic cruises that together encircle the Weddell region. I present data that reveals a region in approximate freshwater balance, but that is a negligible carbon sink due to the seasonal extent of sea-ice. However, its importance as a site for long-term removal of CO2 from contact with the atmosphere through deep water export is confirmed.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans seminar series series.

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