Carbon dioxide is a radiatively active gas whose atmospheric concentration increase is likely to affect Earth's climate. CO is added to the atmosphere by biomass burning and the combustion of fossil fuels. Some added CO remains in the atmosphere. However, substantial amounts are taken up by the oceans and land biosphere, attenuating the atmospheric increase. Atmospheric O measurements provide one constraint for partitioning uptake rates between the ocean and the land biosphere. Here we review studies of atmospheric O concentration variations and discuss their implications for CO uptake by the ocean and the land biosphere. We compare estimates of anthropogenic carbon fluxes from O studies with estimates from other approaches and examine the contribution of natural ocean carbon fluxes to atmospheric O variations.

Keyword(s): global carbon cycle

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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