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Joint Earth Seminar Series: Ray Najjar - Regional & global views of carbon cycling in coastal waters

Monday, October 05, 2020, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Ray Najjar

The Pennsylvania State University

INSTAAR is hosting this talk in the Joint Earth Seminar Series.

A half hour "coffee break" will immediately precede the seminar, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Ray will also be available to chat with interested grad students immediately following the seminar.


Regional and global views of carbon cycling in coastal waters


Carbon cycling in the coastal zone affects global carbon budgets and is critical for understanding the urgent issues of hypoxia, acidification, and tidal wetland loss. However, there are no regional carbon budgets spanning the three main ecosystems in coastal waters: tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters. In the first half of this presentation, such a budget is developed for eastern North America using historical data, empirical models, remote sensing algorithms, and process-based models. It will be shown that lateral carbon transfers between the three main ecosystem types are comparable to fluxes at the domain boundaries. Furthermore, each ecosystem type contributes substantially to exchange with the atmosphere and to burial. In the second half of the presentation, the recent literature is surveyed to provide a first update to the 2013 global coastal-water carbon budgets of Regnier et al. and Bauer et al. This update provides the first bottom-up estimate of the so-called “river loop,” a natural process that transfers carbon from land to the open ocean. The river loop also connects net uptake of atmospheric carbon on land with outgassing from the open ocean and therefore is necessary to consider when constructing budgets of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.


Free and open to the public.