Human effects on total ocean minor element budgets

In the preceding sections we showed that riverine nutrient inputs impact regional seas. We also stated in Section 6.5.4 that the huge reservoirs of nutrients in the deep ocean mean that increases in, for example, the concentrations of NO3- in riverwaters due to human activity have little effect on oceanic NO3- concentration, assuming that NO3- is effectively mixed throughout the ocean volume. We can now demonstrate that this is the case using some simple reasoning.

The average NO- concentration in the oceans is 30|mmoll-1. The total oceanic NO3- inventory is calculated by multiplying this concentration by the volume of the oceans, i.e.:

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