In a previous post, Eli explored the rapid equilibrium between the three surface reservoirs for carbon dioxide, the atmosphere, the biosphere and the surface of the oceans, maybe to a depth of 1 km. Just to remind the bunnies, here is the overview of the carbon cycle,
and here is the animated cartoon showing the rapid equilibration of the three top level reservoirs when a pulse of CO2 enters the atmosphere
In this episode Eli will explore a bit of the slower coupling between the surface ocean and the deep ocean. Inquiring rabett's want him to point out that the amount of carbon in the intermediate and deep ocean is about 30 times that in the three fast reservoirs, give or take a bit, so that the overall process will be a dilution of the excess CO2 that humans have pushed into the atmosphere over a considerable period of time.
Being not an artist the owner operator has sketched out how the interchange between the surface and the deeper oceans works
Simply put, this represents the settling of organic carbon from dead critters. But it is not simple. It fills Eli with awe and reminds him of Einstein's remark that God is subtle, but not malicious. Also very clever.
It turns out that there are two biological pumps, and the interplay between them controls the interchange with the deep ocean and the atmosphere. As shown in this figure from Rost and Riebesell
While the formation of shells