Anomalous chlorofluorocarbon uptake by mesoscale eddies in the Drake Passage region

Hajoon Song, John Marshall, Peter Gaube, Dennis J. McGillicuddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The role of mesoscale eddies in the uptake of anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11) gas is investigated with a 1/20° eddy-resolving numerical ocean model of a region of the Southern Ocean. With a relatively fast air-sea equilibrium time scale (about a month), the air-sea CFC-11 flux quickly responds to the changes in the mixed layer CFC-11 partial pressure (pCFC-11). At the mesoscale, significant correlations are observed between pCFC-11 anomaly, anomalies in sea surface temperature (SST), net heat flux, and mixed layer depth. An eddy-centric analysis of the simulated CFC-11 field suggests that anticyclonic warm-core eddies generate negative pCFC-11 anomalies and cyclonic cold-core eddies generate positive anomalies of pCFC-11. Surface pCFC-11 is modulated by mixed layer dynamics in addition to CFC-11 air-sea fluxes. A negative cross correlation between mixed layer depth and surface pCFC-11 anomalies is linked to higher CFC-11 uptake in anticyclones and lower CFC-11 uptake in cyclones, especially in winter. An almost exact asymmetry in the air-sea CFC-11 flux between cyclones and anticyclones is found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1078
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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