We observed unusually high levels (> 440 μatm) of carbon dioxide fugacity (fCO2) in surface seawater in the western subtropical North Pacific, the area where Subtropical Mode Water is formed, during summer 2015. The NOAA Kuroshio Extension Observatory moored buoy located in this region also measured high CO2 values, up to 500 μatm during this period. These high sea surface fCO2 (fCO2SW) values are explained by much higher normalized total dissolved inorganic carbon and slightly higher normalized total alkalinity concentrations in this region compared to the equatorial Pacific. Moreover, these values are much higher than the climatological CO2 values, even considering increasing atmospheric CO2, indicating a recent large increase in sea surface CO2 concentrations. A large seasonal change in sea surface temperature contributed to higher surface fCO2SW in the summer of 2015.
- Kuroshio Extension
- surface CO
- western subtropical North Pacific
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