Oceanic overturning circulation transports water globally via the ocean’s surface and deep-water currents. This dynamic flow plays a significant role in the redistribution of carbon and heat across the ocean, as well as in the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. Rivers link the land and ocean, but riverine input of carbon-rich waters to the ocean is not well constrained: new research shows that global carbon flux models may underestimate the amount of carbon that is transported by the ocean and rivers by 20-100%. This new finding may reshape the way scientists think about land-based carbon storage, reducing the overall role it may play in Earth’s global carbon cycle.
Data Sources: Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 5 Earth System Model
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