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 spring 2018, our primary research thrusts are (1) understanding the mechanisms of natural variability and anthropogenic change in the global ocean carbon sink, (2) using observations and climate models together to improve spatial mapping of air-sea CO2 fluxes, (3) understanding impacts on carbon uptake of growing Arctic freshwater export to the North Atlantic, and (4) developing an improved regional coupled physical-biogeochemical model of the Atlantic-Arctic system that will allow for more precise mechanistic assessments of the North Atlantic carbon sink.
Please see our Publications for previous work.