OCB was established in 2006 as one of the major activities of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program. The scientific mission of OCB is to study the evolving role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle, in the face of environmental variability and change through studies of marine biogeochemical cycles and associated ecosystems. Download an informational brochure about OCB.
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Figure from Lovenduski et al. (2016).Having absorbed ~30% of the carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere by human activities, the oceans play an important role in mitigating warming and other climate-related impacts of rising carbon dioxide levels. Predictions of future climate change thus require more accurate projections of ocean carbon uptake. Using two different model suites, a recent study by Lovenduski et al. (2016) published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles documents the relative contributions of internal climate variability, emissions scenario, and model structure to overall uncertainty in ocean carbon uptake predictions on both regional and global scales.
Figure from Wang et al. (2016).Marsh exports of DIC and alkalinity may have complex implications for a future, more acidified ocean. A recent study by Wang et al. (2016) published in Limnology & Oceanography combines tidal water sampling of CO2 parameters across seasons and continuous in situ measurements of biogeochemically relevant parameters and water fluxes with high-resolution modeling in an intertidal salt marsh of the U.S. northeast region. Marsh DIC export is more than two times previous estimates, and exhibits high variability over tidal and seasonal cycles, which is modulated by both marsh DIC generation and by water fluxes. It is a major term in the marsh carbon budget and translates to one of the largest carbon fluxes along the U.S. East Coast.
OCB receives support from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.