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AGU journal highlights -- Dec. 31, 2008
Date:1/2/2009

m: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, U.S.A.;

T. B. Larsen, A. P. Ahlstrm, and M. L. Andersen: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark;

P. Elsegui and J. de Juan: Institute for Space Sciences, CSIC/IEEC, Barcelona, Spain;

G. S. Hamilton and L. A. Stearns, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.;

J. L. Davis: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.;

S. A. Khan, L. Stenseng, and R. Forsberg: Danish National Space Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2008GL036127, 2008; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008GL036127


7. Sea rise over continental shelves significantly affected past global carbon cycle

Since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; about 21,000 years ago) sea level has risen by 130 meters (430 feet), resulting in continental shelf submergence and a massive expansion of the surface area of shelf seas. Although shelf seas only account for 7 percent of the oceanic surface area, recent observations demonstrate that they host significant fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) between the ocean and atmosphere. Further, dissolved and particulate carbon are thought to be transported from shelf areas into sinks in the deep ocean through a mechanism called the "continental shelf pump." Through reconstructions of shelf geography stretching to the LGM, Rippeth et al. analyze the effect of sea level rise and consequent flooding of continental shelves on the growth of the continental shelf pump. Combining these reconstructions with contemporary estimates of carbon flux between the ocean and atmosphere allows the authors to conclude that expanding shelf seas have significantly influenced the global carbon cycle via the continental shelf pump, w
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Contact: Peter Weiss
pweiss@agu.org
202-777-7507
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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