We investigate the role of mesoscale eddies in modulating air-sea CO2 flux and associated biogeochemical fields in Drake Passage using in situ observations and an eddy-resolving numerical model. Both observations and model show a negative correlation between temperature and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) anomalies at the sea surface in austral summer, indicating that warm/cold anticyclonic/cyclonic eddies take up more/less CO2. In austral winter, in contrast, relationships are reversed: warm/cold anticyclonic/cyclonic eddies are characterized by a positive/negative pCO2 anomaly and more/less CO2 outgassing. It is argued that DIC-driven effects on pCO2 are greater than temperature effects in austral summer, leading to a negative correlation. In austral winter, however, the reverse is true. An eddy-centric analysis of the model solution reveals that nitrate and iron respond differently to the same vertical mixing: vertical mixing has a greater impact on iron because its normalized vertical gradient at the base of the surface mixed layer is an order of magnitude greater than that of nitrate.
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© 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science