Ocean radiocarbon and other tracers in the 21st century

Date: 
Wednesday 31 October 2018 - 11:00 to 12:00
Location: 
NOC Southampton - Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre (Waterfront Campus).
Speaker: 
Heather Graven (Imperial College)

Radiocarbon is a valuable tracer used in various applications that exploit the natural production and decay of radiocarbon, or the "bomb" radiocarbon produced by nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s. Recently, the dominant control on ocean radiocarbon changes has shifted from air-sea exchange to internal ocean transport and mixing, due to the accumulation of bomb radiocarbon in the upper ocean and the growing emissions of radiocarbon-free fossil fuel CO2. Projecting fossil fuel CO2 emissions into the future, we simulate large changes in the distribution of ocean radiocarbon this century, depending on the scenario for emissions. We likewise simulate changes in ocean tracers CFC-12 and SF6 over this century, and discuss implications for the current and future use of these three ocean tracers in detecting ocean circulation changes and estimating anthropogenic CO2 uptake.

Seminar category: 
POC seminars
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