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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

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

Thomas Holding1, Ian G. Ashton1, Jamie D. Shutler1, Peter E. Land2, Philip D. Nightingale2, Andrew P. Rees2, Ian Brown2, Jean-Francois Piolle3, Annette Kock4, Hermann W. Bange4, David K. Woolf5, Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy6, Ryan Pereira7, Frederic Paul3, Fanny Girand-Ardhuin3, Bertrand Chapron3, Gregor Rehder8, Fabrice Ardhuin3, and Craig J. Donlon9 Thomas Holding et al.
  • 1University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9EZ, UK
  • 2Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, UK
  • 3Ifremer, Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, Brest, France
  • 4GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Marine Biogeochemistry Research Division, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • 5International Centre for Island Technology, Heriot-Watt University, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3AW, UK
  • 6Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands, Thurso, KW14 7EE, UK
  • 7The Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Research Avenue South, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
  • 8Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, 18119 Rostock, Germany
  • 9European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Abstract. 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 the biogeochemical development of the oceans. Therefore, the accurate calculation of these air-sea gas fluxes is critical if we are to monitor the health of our oceans and changes to our climate. 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 and the toolbox is already being used by scientists across multiple disciplines. The toolbox has now been considerably updated to allow its use as a Python library, to enable simplified installation, verification of its installation, to enable the handling of multiple sparingly soluble gases and 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 re-analyse 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 then 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 shows that reanalysing an eight month time series of pCO2 data collected from a fixed station in the Baltic Sea can remove errors equal to 35 % of the net air-sea gas flux. The third case study demonstrates that biological surfactants could supress individual nitrous oxide sea-air gas fluxes by up to 13 %. The 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.

Thomas Holding et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Thomas Holding et al.
Thomas Holding et al.
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Short summary
The FluxEngine is an open source software toolbox designed to allow the easy calculation of air-sea gas fluxes. This manuscript describes new functionality and capabilities, which include the ability to calculate fluxes for nitrous oxide and methane, optimisation for running FluxEngine on a stand-alone desktop computer, and extensive new features to support the in situ measurement community. Four research case studies are used to demonstrate these new features.
The FluxEngine is an open source software toolbox designed to allow the easy calculation of...