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The carbon cycle in the Earth System constitutes a fundamental, pressing research topic in modern Earth system science. The greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) provide an important forcing factor of the global climate, which, on the other hand, controls the sources and sinks of these gases. In addition, the carbon cycle is currently being seriously perturbed by direct and indirect emissions from human activities. Unraveling and quantifying these interactions and feedbacks is essential to understand the climate history of the Earth, but also to predict its evolution in the future. The ocean is important to climate change and global warming—as a storer and transporter of heat and carbon—but our understanding of the operative processes is inadequate to make predictions with the required skill. CO2 increases will lead to the increased carbon storage by the land and ocean. Climate change will reduce the land and ocean’s capacity to absorb atmospheric CO2 due to the increasing temperatures of both the land and ocean and increasing oceanic stratification. The ocean, which has absorbed 27.9% of the anthropogenic CO2 in the past 200 years, plays a crucial role in the global carbon cycle.

Climate Change and the Oceanic Carbon Cycle provides complete understanding of the variables and consequences of oceanic carbon cycling in the context of climate change. It reviews the ocean’s role in the global CO2 cycle and climate change; describe the importance of mesoscale processes in the ocean; examine the main pathways of carbon exchange between the ocean surface layer and the ocean interior; analyze the scales of the physical processes involved in nutrient limitation of the “biological pump”; and review the implications for climate change.

The contributed chapters explores the importance of marine plankton in carbon processing as well as the effects of rising CO2 and temperature in their functioning.