Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 435–445 | Cite as

Spatial and Temporal Variation of Surface xCO2 Providing Net Biological Productivities in the Western North Pacific in June



More than 14,000 measurements of surface water xCO2 were obtained during two cruises, 3 weeks apart in June 2000, along 155°E between 34 and 44°N in the western North Pacific Ocean. Based on the distributions of salinity and sea surface temperature (SST), the region has been divided into 6 subregions; Oyashio, Oyashio front, Transition, Kuroshio front, and Kuroshio extension I and II zones, from north to south. The surface waters were always undersaturated with respect to atmospheric CO2. The Oyashio water was the least undersaturated: its xCO2 decreased slightly by 7 ppm, while SST increased by 2°C. The xCO2 normalized to a constant temperature decreased considerably. In the two frontal zones, a large drawdown of 30–40 ppm was observed after 18–19 days. In the Kuroshio extension zones, the xCO2 increased, but the normalized xCO2 decreased considerably. The Transition zone water may be somewhat affected by mixing with the subsurface water, as indicated by the smallest SST rise, an undecreased PO4 concentration, and a colder and less stable surface layer than the Oyashio front water. As the uncertainty derived from the air-sea CO2 flux was not large, the xCO2 data allowed us to calculate the net biological productivity. The productivities around 60 mmol C m−2d−1 outside the Transition zone indicate that the northwestern North Pacific, especially the two frontal zones, can be regarded as one of the most productive oceans in the world.


xCO2 biological production rate Oyashio front Kuroshio front 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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