Bulk-to-shear viscosity ratios of three orders of magnitude are often reported in carbon dioxide but are always neglected when predicting aerothermal loads in external (Mars exploration) or internal (turbomachinery, heat exchanger) turbulent flows. The recent (and first) numerical investigations of that matter suggest that the solenoidal turbulence kinetic energy is in fact well predicted despite this seemingly arbitrary simplification. The present work argues that such a conclusion may reflect limitations from the choice of configuration rather than provide a definite statement on the robustness of kinetic-energy transfers to the use of Stokes’ hypothesis. Two distinct asymptotic regimes (Euler–Landau and Stokes–Newton) in the eigenmodes of the Navier–Stokes equations are identified. In the Euler–Landau regime, the one captured by earlier studies, acoustic and entropy waves are damped by transport coefficients and the dilatational kinetic energy is dissipated, even more rapidly for high bulk-viscosity fluids and/or forcing frequencies. If the kinetic energy is initially or constantly injected through solenoidal motions, effects on the turbulence kinetic energy remain minor. However, in the Stokes–Newton regime, diffused bulk compressions and advected isothermal compressions are found to prevail and promote small-scale enstrophy via vorticity–dilatation correlations. In the absence of bulk viscosity, the transition to the Stokes–Newton regime occurs within the dissipative scales and is not observed in practice. In contrast, at high bulk viscosities, the Stokes–Newton regime can be made to overlap with the inertial range and disrupt the enstrophy at small scales, which is then dissipated by friction. Thus, flows with substantial inertial ranges and large bulk-to-shear viscosity ratios should experience enhanced transfers to small-scale solenoidal kinetic energy, and therefore faster dissipation rates leading to modifications of the heat-transfer properties. Observing numerically such transfers is still prohibitively expensive, and the present simulations are restricted to two-dimensional turbulence. However, the theory laid here offers useful guidelines to design experimental studies to track the Stokes–Newton regime and associated modifications of the turbulence kinetic energy, which are expected to persist in three-dimensional turbulence.