Climate is changing due to human emissions of carbon to the atmosphere. But not all the carbon emitted remains there - in fact, over the industrial era, the ocean has absorbed the equivalent of 41% of all human fossil fuel emissions. Thus, understanding the ocean carbon cycle is critical to understanding and predicting climate change.
The McKinley Ocean Carbon Research Group studies how ocean physical and biogeochemical processes impact large-scale carbon cycling and primary productivity. These studies encompass fluid dynamics, climate processes, biogeochemistry and ecology. Our primary research tools are numerical models and large historical datasets.
As of summer 2019, our primary research thrusts are (1) understanding the external drivers responsible for the bulk of recent decadal variability in the global ocean carbon sink, (2) using observations and climate models together to improve spatial mapping of air-sea CO2 fluxes, (3) understanding the mechanisms of anthropogenic carbon uptake in the North Atlantic, (4) assessing how future change in ocean carbon fluxes will impact allowable emissions, and (5) developing an improved regional coupled physical-biogeochemical model of the Atlantic-Arctic system.
Please see our Publications for previous work.