Ship-based measurement of air-sea CO 2 exchange by eddy covariance
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ship-based measurement of air-sea CO 2 exchange by eddy covariance

  • Author(s): Miller, Scott D;
  • Marandino, Christa A;
  • Saltzman, Eric S
  • et al.

A system for the shipboard measurement of air-sea CO2 fluxes by eddy covariance was developed and tested. The system was designed to reduce two major sources of experimental uncertainty previously reported. First, the correction for in situ water vapor fluctuations (the “Webb” correction) was reduced by 97% by drying the air sample stream. Second, motion sensitivity of the gas analyzer was reduced by using an open-path type sensor that was converted to a closed-path configuration to facilitate drying of the air stream. High-quality CO2 fluxes were obtained during 429 14 min flux intervals during two cruises in the North Atlantic. The results suggest that the gas analyzer resolved atmospheric CO2 fluctuations well below its RMS noise level. This noise was uncorrelated with the vertical wind and therefore filtered out by the flux calculation. Using climatological data, we estimate that the techniques reported here could enable high-quality measurements of air-sea CO2 flux over much of the world oceans.

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