The Azimuth Project
Blog - carbon cycle box models (part 2)

This page is a blog article in progress, written by Staffan Liljegren. To discuss this article while it was being written, visit the Azimuth Forum.

Oceans part in the carbon cycle

In the first blog on the carbon cycle and box models. I looked at the terminology and man-made fossil fuel carbon emission contributions through global one-box models.

Here I’ll continue and scrutinize the oceans and the atmosphere with two-box and three-box models for the ocean in particular and see what bio-geochemical process that are involved that complicates things like estimating oceanic response times.

Scrutinizing the oceans

The pre-industrial ocean was an emitter of CO 2CO_2 or a source but during the industrial times it has transformed into a sink for of approximately 2 Gt Carbon (GtC) per year.

Boxes for the oceans
Measured Carbon in the oceans today

So here we see how its evolved over time in the form of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) which is sometimes referred to total CO2 - measured at Hawaii Ocean Time-series Bottle Data and visualized with the Ocean Data Viewer (ODV,see references):

ocean dissolved inorganic carbon
Ocean and Atmosphere



• Colin Tudge, The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter, Penguin, London, 2005.

• David Archer, The Global Carbon Cycle, Princeton U. Press, Princeton, NJ, 2011.