The carbon budget of the North Sea
de Baar, HJW
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A carbon budget has been established for the North Sea, a shelf sea on the NW European continental shelf. The carbon exchange fluxes with the North Atlantic Ocean dominate the gross carbon budget. The net carbon budget more relevant to the issue of the contribution of the coastal ocean to the marine carbon cycle - is dominated by the carbon inputs from rivers, the Baltic Sea and the atmosphere. The North Sea acts as a sink for organic carbon and thus can be characterised as a heterotrophic system. The dominant carbon sink is the final export to the North Atlantic Ocean. More than 90% of the CO2 taken up from the atmosphere is exported to the North Atlantic Ocean making the North Sea a highly efficient continental shelf pump for carbon.
Thomas, H., Y. Bozec, HJW de Baar, K. Elkalay, et al. 2005. "The carbon budget of the North Sea." Biogeosciences 2(1): 87-96.