Nordic carbon in flux

Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles (2011)

The Nordic seas, which bridge the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, are an important conduit for carbon transport both laterally and vertically. An analysis of the Nordic carbon budget suggests that lateral fluxes of carbon into and out of these waters exceed air–sea fluxes by around two orders of magnitude.

Emil Jeansson, of the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway, and colleagues examine existing estimates of seawater carbon content and mass transport to assess the movement of carbon through the Nordic seas. They estimate that about 12.3 Gt of carbon enter these seas each year, primarily across the Greenland–Scotland ridge, whereas 12.5 Gt are carried to the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Most carbon is transported as dissolved inorganic carbon.

Balancing the budget, the researchers estimate that local air–sea fluxes of carbon dioxide contribute 0.2 Gt of carbon to these waters each year.


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Armstrong, A. Nordic carbon in flux. Nature Geosci 4, 734 (2011).

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