Groundbreaking research shows storms drive outgassing of CO2 in the subpolar Southern Ocean

The subpolar sector of the Southern Ocean plays an important role in the global carbon budget. However, while, researchers have linked the occurrence of widespread outgassing of CO2 in this region to the large-scale upwelling of old CO2-rich deep waters, the mechanisms that explain their transport into the surface mixed-layer, where it can then be outgassed into the atmosphere, remain poorly understood.

In the study, the researchers highlight the importance of the frequent strong storms in modulating the mean seasonal transport of CO2 within and across the mixed-layer and surface ocean boundary interfaces.