Sea ice is an active source or a sink for carbon dioxide (CO2), although to what extent is not clear. Here, we analyze CO2 dynamics within sea ice using a one-dimensional halothermodynamic sea ice model including gas physics and carbon biogeochemistry. The ice-ocean fluxes, and vertical transport, of total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) are represented using fluid transport equa- tions. Carbonate chemistry, the consumption, and release of CO2 by primary production and respiration, the precipitation and dissolution of ikaite (CaCO3ﰀ6H2O) and ice-air CO2 fluxes, are also included. The model is evaluated using observations from a 6 month field study at Point Barrow, Alaska, and an ice-tank experi- ment. At Barrow, results show that the DIC budget is mainly driven by physical processes, wheras brine-air CO2 fluxes, ikaite formation, and net primary production, are secondary factors. In terms of ice-atmosphere CO2 exchanges, sea ice is a net CO2 source and sink in winter and summer, respectively. The formulation of the ice-atmosphere CO2 flux impacts the simulated near-surface CO2 partial pressure (pCO2), but not the DIC budget. Because the simulated ice-atmosphere CO2 fluxes are limited by DIC stocks, and therefore <2 mmol m22 d21, we argue that the observed much larger CO2 fluxes from eddy covariance retrievals cannot be explained by a sea ice direct source and must involve other processes or other sources of CO2. Finally, the simulations suggest that near-surface TA/DIC ratios of ﰁ2, sometimes used as an indicator of calcifica- tion, would rather suggest outgassing.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2015, Vol 120, Issue 1, p. 471-495