Closing the North American Carbon Budget: Continental Margin Fluxes Matter!
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Despite their relatively small surface area, continental margins are regions of intense carbon and nutrient processing, export and exchange, and thus have a significant impact on global biogeochemical cycles. In response to recommendations for regional synthesis and carbon budget estimation for North America put forth in the North American Continental Margins workshop report (Hales et al., 2008), the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program and North American Carbon Program (NACP) began coordinating a series of collaborative, interdisciplinary Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) research activities in five coastal regions of North America (Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Arctic, Laurentian Great Lakes) to improve quantitative assessments of the North American carbon budget. CCARS workshops and collaborative research activities have resulted in the development of regional coastal carbon budgets based on recent literature- and model-based estimates of major carbon fluxes with estimated uncertainties. Numerous peer-reviewed papers and presentations by involved researchers have highlighted these findings and provided more in-depth analyses of processes underlying key carbon fluxes in continental margin systems. As a culminating outcome of these synthesis efforts, a comprehensive science plan highlights key knowledge gaps identified during this synthesis and provides explicit guidance on future research and observing priorities in continental margin systems to help inform future agency investments in continental margins research. This presentation will provide an overview of regional and flux-based (terrestrial inputs, biological transformations, sedimentary processes, atmospheric exchanges, lateral carbon transport) synthesis findings and key recommendations in the science plan, as well as a set of overarching priorities and recommendations on observations and modeling approaches for continental margin systems.