Carbon Dioxide Exchange Between Air and Seawater: No Evidence for Rate Catalysis

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Science  08 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4593, pp. 199-201
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4593.199


It has been suggested that enzymatic catalysis plays a major role in regulating the mass transport of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the oceans. Evidence for this mechanism was not found in a series of gas exchange experiments in which the gas transfer rate coefficients for samples obtained from various natural seawaters, with and without the addition of carbonic anhydrase, were compared with those from artificial seawater. Wind-induced turbulence appears to be the major factor controlling the ocean's response to anthropogenic increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.