The 2004 Outstanding Young Scientist Award is awarded to Alberto Borges for his significant contribution to the understanding of air-sea CO2 fluxes in coastal ecosystems.
Alberto Borges, 32 years old, defended his PhD thesis in 2001. He investigated the dissolved inorganic carbon dynamics and air-water exchanges of CO2 over the European continental shelf. The major outcome of his work was to show that open continental shelves (bordered by a continental margin) are significant sinks for atmospheric CO2 while near-shore systems such as estuaries (influenced by anthropogenic and/or terrestrial carbon inputs) are sources of CO2. His work highlighted the potential importance of the coastal ocean in the global carbon budget. He subsequently budgeted CO2 fluxes in tropical ecosystems, in particular estuaries and mangrove forests and worked on the parameterization of the gas transfer velocity in coastal environments. Alberto Borges published 17 papers and gave 15 presentations at international meetings, including several at EGS and EGU general assemblies.