Investigating the empirical relationship between oceanic properties observable by satellite and the oceanic pCO?
Van der Walt, Marizelle
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In this dissertation, the aim is to investigate the empirical relationship between the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and other ocean variables in the Southern Ocean, by using a small percentage of the available data. CO2 is one of the main greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming and climate change. The concentration of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere, however, would have been much higher if some of it was not absorbed by oceanic and terrestrial sinks. The oceans absorb and release CO2 from and to the atmosphere. Large regions in the Southern Ocean are expected to be a CO2 sink. However, the measurements of CO2 concentrations in the ocean are sparse in the Southern Ocean, and accurate values for the sinks and sources cannot be determined. In addition, it is difficult to develop accurate oceanic and ocean-atmosphere models of the Southern Ocean with the sparse observations of CO2 concentrations in this part of the ocean. In this dissertation classical techniques are investigated to determine the empirical relationship between pCO2 and other oceanic variables using in situ measurements. Additionally, sampling techniques are investigated in order to make a judicious selection of a small percentage of the total available data points in order to develop an accurate empirical relationship. Data from the SANAE49 cruise stretching between Antarctica and Cape Town are used in this dissertation. The complete data set contains 6103 data points. The maximum pCO2 value in this stretch is 436.0 μatm, the minimum is 251.2 μatm and the mean is 360.2 μatm. An empirical relationship is investigated between pCO2 and the variables Temperature (T), chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl), Mixed Layer Depth (MLD) and latitude (Lat). The methods are repeated with latitude included and excluded as variable respectively. D-optimal sampling is used to select a small percentage of the available data for determining the empirical relationship. Least squares optimization is used as one method to determine the empirical relationship. For 200 D-optimally sampled points, the pCO2 prediction with the fourth order equation yields a Root Mean Square (RMS) error of 15.39 μatm (on the estimation of pCO2) with latitude excluded as variable and a RMS error of 8.797 μatm with latitude included as variable. Radial basis function (RBF) interpolation is another method that is used to determine the empirical relationship between the variables. The RBF interpolation with 200 D-optimally sampled points yields a RMS error of 9.617 μatm with latitude excluded as variable and a RMS error of 6.716 μatm with latitude included as variable. Optimal scaling is applied to the variables in the RBF interpolation, yielding a RMS error of 9.012 μatm with latitude excluded as variable and a RMS error of 4.065 μatm with latitude included as variable for 200 D-optimally sampled points.