The FluxEngine air-sea gas flux toolbox: simplified interface and extensions for in situ analyses and multiple sparingly soluble gases

Thomas Holding, Ian G. Ashton, Jamie D. Shutler, Peter E. Land, Philip D. Nightingale, Andrew P. Rees, Ian Brown, Jean-Francois Piolle, Annette Kock, Hermann W. Bange, David K. Woolf, Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy, Ryan Pereira, Frederic Paul, Fanny Girard-Ardhuin, Bertrand Chapron, Gregor Rehder, Fabrice Ardhuin, Craig J. Donlon

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The flow (flux) of climate-critical gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), between the ocean and the atmosphere is a fundamental component of our climate and an important driver of the biogeochemical systems within the oceans. Therefore, the accurate calculation of these air–sea gas fluxes is critical if we are to monitor the oceans and assess the impact that these gases are having on Earth's climate and ecosystems. FluxEngine is an open-source software toolbox that allows users to easily perform calculations of air–sea gas fluxes from model, in situ, and Earth observation data. The original development and verification of the toolbox was described in a previous publication. The toolbox has now been considerably updated to allow for its use as a Python library, to enable simplified installation, to ensure verification of its installation, to enable the handling of multiple sparingly soluble gases, and to enable the greatly expanded functionality for supporting in situ dataset analyses. This new functionality for supporting in situ analyses includes user-defined grids, time periods and projections, the ability to reanalyse in situ CO2 data to a common temperature dataset, and the ability to easily calculate gas fluxes using in situ data from drifting buoys, fixed moorings, and research cruises. Here we describe these new capabilities and demonstrate their application through illustrative case studies. The first case study demonstrates the workflow for accurately calculating CO2 fluxes using in situ data from four research cruises from the Surface Ocean CO2 ATlas (SOCAT) database. The second case study calculates air–sea CO2 fluxes using in situ data from a fixed monitoring station in the Baltic Sea. The third case study focuses on nitrous oxide (N2O) and, through a user-defined gas transfer parameterisation, identifies that biological surfactants in the North Atlantic could suppress individual N2O sea–air gas fluxes by up to 13 %. The fourth and final case study illustrates how a dissipation-based gas transfer parameterisation can be implemented and used. The updated version of the toolbox (version 3) and all documentation is now freely available.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Pages (from-to)1707-1728
Number of pages22
JournalOcean Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology


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