The carbon budget of the North Sea

Other literature type, Article English OPEN
Thomas, H. ; Bozec, Y. ; Baar, H. J. W. ; Elkalay, K. ; Frankignoulle, M. ; Schiettecatte, L.-S. ; Kattner, G. ; Borges, A. V. (2005)
  • Publisher: European Geosciences Union
  • Journal: (issn: 1726-4189, eissn: 1726-4189)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.5194/bg-2-87-2005
  • Subject: [ PHYS.ASTR.CO ] Physics [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph]/Cosmology and Extra-Galactic Astrophysics [astro-ph.CO] | [ SDU.STU ] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences | [ SDU.ENVI ] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Continental interfaces, environment | [ SDU.OCEAN ] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Ocean, Atmosphere | [ SDU.ASTR ] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph]

International audience; A carbon budget has been established for the North Sea, a shelf sea on the NW European continental shelf. The carbon exchange fluxes with the North Atlantic Ocean dominate the gross carbon budget. The net carbon budget ? more relevant to the issue of the contribution of the coastal ocean to the marine carbon cycle ? is dominated by the carbon inputs from rivers, the Baltic Sea and the atmosphere. The North Sea acts as a sink for organic carbon and thus can be characterised as a heterotrophic system. The dominant carbon sink is the final export to the North Atlantic Ocean. More than 90% of the CO<sub>2</sub> taken up from the atmosphere is exported to the North Atlantic Ocean making the North Sea a highly efficient continental shelf pump for carbon.