Carbon Dioxide in the Ocean Surface: The Homogeneous Buffer Factor

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Science  15 Jun 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4398, pp. 1203-1205
DOI: 10.1126/science.204.4398.1203


The amount of carbon dioxide that can be dissolved in surface seawater depends at least partially on the homogeneous buffer factor, which is a mathematical function of the chemical equilibrium conditions among the various dissolved inorganic species. Because these equilibria are well known, the homogeneous buffer factor is well known. Natural spatial variations depend very systematically on sea surface temperatures, and do not contribute significantly to uncertainties in the present or future carbon dioxide budget.