Wintertime measurements of pCO2 in Arctic landfast sea ice
Owens, Owen C.
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Recent work has described how gas exchange can occur through sea ice. First, carbon fluxes over sea ice surfaces have been measured. Second, sea ice brine has an elevated capacity over seawater to absorb CO2(g) due to its cold temperature and chemical equilibrium promoting carbon phase changes. Sea ice pCO2 profiles were collected using a new method of remotely sampling gas in situ via diffusive membranes placed within growing sea ice. Gas analysis was complimented by measurements of local meteorology and ice chemistry. The work was part of the CASES 2004 project. The observed elevation in sea ice pCO2 coupled with the mobility of the brine points to the role that brine plays in Arctic carbon transport. The gas transport links the Arctic atmosphere and ocean and indicates that a thinning and receding ice cover may not result in creating a negative feedback to the increasing atmospheric CO2(g) concentration.