Simulating the atmospheric CO2 concentration across the heterogeneous landscape of Denmark using a coupled atmosphere–biosphere mesoscale model system
Although coastal regions only amount to 7 % of the global oceans, their contribution to the global oceanic air–sea CO2 exchange is proportionally larger, with fluxes in some estuaries being similar in magnitude to terrestrial surface fluxes of CO2. Across a heterogeneous surface consisting of a coastal marginal sea with estuarine properties and varied land mosaics, the surface fluxes of CO2 from both marine areas and terrestrial surfaces were investigated in this study together with their impact in atmospheric CO2 concentrations by the usage of a high-resolution modelling framework. The simulated terrestrial fluxes across the study region of Denmark experienced an east–west gradient corresponding to the distribution of the land cover classification, their biological activity and the urbanised areas. Annually, the Danish terrestrial surface had an uptake of approximately −7000 GgC yr−1. While the marine fluxes from the North Sea and the Danish inner waters were smaller annually, with about −1800 and 1300 GgC yr−1, their sizes are comparable to annual terrestrial fluxes from individual land cover classifications in the study region and hence are not negligible. The contribution of terrestrial surfaces fluxes was easily detectable in both simulated and measured concentrations of atmospheric CO2 at the only tall tower site in the study region. Although, the tower is positioned next to Roskilde Fjord, the local marine impact was not distinguishable in the simulated concentrations. But the regional impact from the Danish inner waters and the Baltic Sea increased the atmospheric concentration by up to 0.5 ppm during the winter months.