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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-26
    Description: Here, we establish a spatiotemporal evolution of the sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic over Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events 5–8 (approximately 30–40 kyr) using the proxy surrogate reconstruction method. Proxy data suggest a large variability in North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures during the DO events of the last glacial period. However, proxy data availability is limited and cannot provide a full spatial picture of the oceanic changes. Therefore, we combine fully coupled, general circulation model simulations with planktic foraminifera based sea-surface temperature reconstructions to obtain a broader spatial picture of the ocean state during DO events 5–8. The resulting spatial sea-surface temperature patterns agree over a number of different general circulation models and simulations. We find that sea-surface temperature variability over the DO events is characterized by colder conditions in the subpolar North Atlantic during stadials than during interstadials, and the variability is linked to changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning circulation and in the sea-ice cover. Forced simulations are needed to capture the strength of the temperature variability and to reconstruct the variability in other climatic records not directly linked to the sea-surface temperature reconstructions. This is the first time the proxy surrogate reconstruction method has been applied to oceanic variability during MIS3. Our results remain robust, even when age uncertainties of proxy data, the number of available temperature reconstructions, and different climate models are considered. However, we also highlight shortcomings of the methodology that should be addressed in future implementations.
    Print ISSN: 1814-9324
    Electronic ISSN: 1814-9332
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-02-24
    Description: Planktonic foraminifera preserved in marine sediments archive the physical and chemical conditions under which they built their shells. To interpret the paleoceanographic information contained in fossil foraminifera, the recorded proxy signals have to be attributed to the habitat and life cycle characteristics of individual species. Much of our knowledge on habitat depth is based on indirect methods, which reconstruct the depth at which the largest portion of the shell has been calcified. However, habitat depth can be best studied by direct observations in stratified plankton nets. Here we present a synthesis of living planktonic foraminifera abundance data in vertically resolved plankton net hauls taken in the eastern North Atlantic during 12 oceanographic campaigns between 1995 and 2012. Live (cytoplasm-bearing) specimens were counted for each depth interval and the vertical habitat at each station was expressed as average living depth (ALD). This allows us to differentiate species showing an ALD consistently in the upper 100m (e.g., Globigerinoides ruber white and pink), indicating a shallow habitat; species occurring from the surface to the subsurface (e.g., Globigerina bulloides, Globorotalia inflata, Globorotalia truncatulinoides); and species inhabiting the subsurface (e.g., Globorotalia scitula and Globorotalia hirsuta). For 17 species with variable ALD, we assessed whether their depth habitat at a given station could be predicted by mixed layer (ML) depth, temperature in the ML and chlorophyll a concentration in the ML. The influence of seasonal and lunar cycle on the depth habitat was also tested using periodic regression. In 11 out of the 17 tested species, ALD variation appears to have a predictable component. All of the tested parameters were significant in at least one case, with both seasonal and lunar cyclicity as well as the environmental parameters explaining up to 〉50% of the variance. Thus, G. truncatulinoides, G. hirsuta and G. scitula appear to descend in the water column towards the summer, whereas populations of Trilobatus sacculifer appear to descend in the water column towards the new moon. In all other species, properties of the mixed layer explained more of the observed variance than the periodic models. Chlorophyll a concentration seems least important for ALD, whilst shoaling of the habitat with deepening of the ML is observed most frequently. We observe both shoaling and deepening of species habitat with increasing temperature. Further, we observe that temperature and seawater density at the depth of the ALD were not equally variable among the studied species, and their variability showed no consistent relationship with depth habitat. According to our results, depth habitat of individual species changes in response to different environmental and ontogenetic factors and consequently planktonic foraminifera exhibit not only species-specific mean habitat depths but also species-specific changes in habitat depth.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-08-24
    Description: Here we establish a spatio-temporal evolution of the sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic over Dansgaard Oeschger (DO) events 5–8 (c. 30–40 ka) using the proxy surrogate reconstruction method. Proxy data suggest a large variability in North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures during the DO-events of the last glacial period. However, proxy data availability is limited and cannot provide a full spatial picture of the oceanic changes. Therefore, we combine fully coupled, general circulation model simulations with planktic foraminifera based sea-surface temperature reconstructions to obtain a broader spatial picture of the ocean state during DO-events 5–8. The resulting spatial sea-surface temperature patterns agree over a number of different general circulation models and simulations. We find that sea-surface temperature variability over the DO-events is characterized by colder conditions in the subpolar North Atlantic during stadials than during interstadials, and the variability is linked to changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning circulation, and in the sea-ice cover. Forced simulations are needed to capture the strength of the temperature variability and to reconstruct the variability in other climatic records not directly linked to the sea-surface temperature reconstructions. Our results are robust to uncertainties in the age models of the proxy data, the number of available temperature reconstructions, and over a range of climate models.
    Print ISSN: 1814-9340
    Electronic ISSN: 1814-9359
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-02-27
    Description: Past model studies have projected a global decrease in marine net primary production (NPP) over the 21st century, but these studies focused on the multi-model mean and mostly ignored the large inter-model differences. Here, we analyze model simulated changes of NPP for the 21st century under IPCC's high emission scenario RCP8.5 using a suite of nine coupled carbon–climate Earth System Models with embedded marine ecosystem models with a focus on the spread between the different models and the underlying reasons. Globally, five out of the nine models show a decrease in NPP over the course of the 21st century, while three show no significant trend and one even simulates an increase. The largest model spread occurs in the low latitudes (between 30° S and 30° N), with individual models simulating relative changes between −25 and +40%. In this region, the inter-quartile range of the differences between the 2012–2031 average and the 2081–2100 average is up to 3 mol C m-2 yr-1. These large differences in future change mirror large differences in present day NPP. Of the seven models diagnosing a net decrease in NPP in the low latitudes, only three simulate this to be a consequence of the classical interpretation, i.e., a stronger nutrient limitation due to increased stratification and reduced upwelling. In the other four, warming-induced increases in phytoplankton growth outbalance the stronger nutrient limitation. However, temperature-driven increases in grazing and other loss processes cause a net decrease in phytoplankton biomass and reduces NPP despite higher growth rates. One model projects a strong increase in NPP in the low latitudes, caused by an intensification of the microbial loop, while the remaining model simulates changes of less than 0.5%. While there is more consistency in the modeled increase in NPP in the Southern Ocean, the regional inter-model range is also very substantial. In most models, this increase in NPP is driven by temperature, but is also modulated by changes in light, macronutrients and iron as well as grazing. Overall, current projections of future changes in global marine NPP are subject to large uncertainties and necessitate a dedicated and sustained effort to improve the models and the concepts and data that guide their development.
    Print ISSN: 1810-6277
    Electronic ISSN: 1810-6285
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2010-01-11
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2015-12-07
    Description: Past model studies have projected a global decrease in marine net primary production (NPP) over the 21st century, but these studies focused on the multi-model mean rather than on the large inter-model differences. Here, we analyze model-simulated changes in NPP for the 21st century under IPCC's high-emission scenario RCP8.5. We use a suite of nine coupled carbon–climate Earth system models with embedded marine ecosystem models and focus on the spread between the different models and the underlying reasons. Globally, NPP decreases in five out of the nine models over the course of the 21st century, while three show no significant trend and one even simulates an increase. The largest model spread occurs in the low latitudes (between 30° S and 30° N), with individual models simulating relative changes between −25 and +40 %. Of the seven models diagnosing a net decrease in NPP in the low latitudes, only three simulate this to be a consequence of the classical interpretation, i.e., a stronger nutrient limitation due to increased stratification leading to reduced phytoplankton growth. In the other four, warming-induced increases in phytoplankton growth outbalance the stronger nutrient limitation. However, temperature-driven increases in grazing and other loss processes cause a net decrease in phytoplankton biomass and reduce NPP despite higher growth rates. One model projects a strong increase in NPP in the low latitudes, caused by an intensification of the microbial loop, while NPP in the remaining model changes by less than 0.5 %. While models consistently project increases NPP in the Southern Ocean, the regional inter-model range is also very substantial. In most models, this increase in NPP is driven by temperature, but it is also modulated by changes in light, macronutrients and iron as well as grazing. Overall, current projections of future changes in global marine NPP are subject to large uncertainties and necessitate a dedicated and sustained effort to improve the models and the concepts and data that guide their development.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2015-07-30
    Description: The oceans currently take up around a quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by human activity. While stored in the ocean, this CO2 is not influencing Earth's radiation budget; the ocean CO2 sink therefore plays an important role in mitigating global warming. CO2 uptake by the oceans is heterogeneous, with the subpolar North Atlantic being the strongest CO2 sink region. Observations over the last 2 decades have indicated that CO2 uptake by the subpolar North Atlantic sink can vary rapidly. Given the importance of this sink and its apparent variability, it is critical that we understand the mechanisms behind its operation. Here we explore the combined natural and anthropogenic subpolar North Atlantic CO2 uptake across a large ensemble of Earth System Model simulations, and find that models show a peak in sink strength around the middle of the century after which CO2 uptake begins to decline. We identify different drivers of change on interannual and multidecadal timescales. Short-term variability appears to be driven by fluctuations in regional seawater temperature and alkalinity, whereas the longer-term evolution throughout the coming century is largely occurring through a counterintuitive response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. At high atmospheric CO2 concentrations the contrasting Revelle factors between the low latitude water and the subpolar gyre, combined with the transport of surface waters from the low latitudes to the subpolar gyre, means that the subpolar CO2 uptake capacity is largely satisfied from its southern boundary rather than through air–sea CO2 flux. Our findings indicate that: (i) we can explain the mechanisms of subpolar North Atlantic CO2 uptake variability across a broad range of Earth System Models; (ii) a focus on understanding the mechanisms behind contemporary variability may not directly tell us about how the sink will change in the future; (iii) to identify long-term change in the North Atlantic CO2 sink we should focus observational resources on monitoring lower latitude as well as the subpolar seawater CO2; (iv) recent observations of a weakening subpolar North Atlantic CO2 sink may suggest that the sink strength has peaked and is in long-term decline.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2014-11-25
    Description: In coupled biogeochmical–ocean models, the choice of numerical schemes in the ocean circulation component can have a large influence on the distribution of the biological tracers. Biogeochemical models are traditionally coupled to ocean general circulation models (OGCMs), which are based on dynamical cores employing quasi-regular meshes, and therefore utilize limited spatial resolution in a global setting. An alternative approach is to use an unstructured-mesh ocean model, which allows variable mesh resolution. Here, we present initial results of a coupling between the Finite Element Sea Ice–Ocean Model (FESOM) and the biogeochemical model REcoM2 (Regulated Ecosystem Model 2), with special focus on the Southern Ocean. Surface fields of nutrients, chlorophyll a and net primary production (NPP) were compared to available data sets with a focus on spatial distribution and seasonal cycle. The model produces realistic spatial distributions, especially regarding NPP and chlorophyll a, whereas the iron concentration becomes too low in the Pacific Ocean. The modelled NPP is 32.5 Pg C yr−1 and the export production 6.1 Pg C yr−1, which is lower than satellite-based estimates, mainly due to excessive iron limitation in the Pacific along with too little coastal production. The model performs well in the Southern Ocean, though the assessment here is hindered by the lower availability of observations. The modelled NPP is 3.1 Pg C yr−1 in the Southern Ocean and the export production 1.1 Pg C yr−1. All in all, the combination of a circulation model on an unstructured grid with a biogeochemical–ocean model shows similar performance to other models at non-eddy-permitting resolution. It is well suited for studies of the Southern Ocean, but on the global scale deficiencies in the Pacific Ocean would have to be taken into account.
    Print ISSN: 1991-959X
    Electronic ISSN: 1991-9603
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2014-07-09
    Description: In coupled ocean-biogeochemical models, the choice of numerical schemes in the ocean circulation component can have a large influence on the distribution of the biological tracers. Biogeochemical models are traditionally coupled to ocean general circulation models (OGCMs), which are based on dynamical cores employing quasi regular meshes, and therefore utilize limited spatial resolution in a global setting. An alternative approach is to use an unstructured-mesh ocean model, which allows variable mesh resolution. Here, we present initial results of a coupling between the Finite Element Sea-ice Ocean Model (FESOM) and the biogeochemical model REcoM2, with special focus on the Southern Ocean. Surface fields of nutrients, chlorophyll a and net primary production were compared to available data sets with focus on spatial distribution and seasonal cycle. The model produced realistic spatial distributions, especially regarding net primary production and chlorophyll a, whereas the iron concentration became too low in the Pacific Ocean. The modelled net primary production was 32.5 Pg C yr−1 and the export production 6.1 Pg C yr−1. This is lower than satellite-based estimates, mainly due to the excessive iron limitation in the Pacific along with too little coastal production. Overall, the model performed better in the Southern Ocean than on the global scale, though the assessment here is hindered by the lower availability of observations. The modelled net primary production was 3.1 Pg C yr−1 in the Southern Ocean and the export production 1.1 Pg C yr−1. All in all, the combination of a circulation model on an unstructured grid with an ocean biogeochemical model shows similar performance to other models at non-eddy-permitting resolution. It is well suited for studies of the Southern Ocean, but on the global scale deficiencies in the Pacific Ocean would have to be taken into account.
    Print ISSN: 1991-9611
    Electronic ISSN: 1991-962X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2009-12-14
    Description: Offshore south central Chile (35° S–42° S), the morphology of the lowermost continental slope and trench floor witnesses a voluminous submarine mass-wasting event. The blocky slide body deposited in the Chile Trench at 73°46´ W 35°35´ S was targeted for study during RRS JAMES COOK Cruise JC23 and termed Reloca Slide. Its size of about 24 km3, its steep and high headscarp, the spatial distribution of slide deposits and the cohesive nature of major slide blocks make it interesting to address the issue of tsunami generation. We have obtained seismic reflection data that partly reveal the internal structure of the slide body. Gravity core samples were retrieved that will allow the slide to be dated and linked to the history of sedimentation and slope stability along this particular segment of the Chilean convergent margin. At present we assume a Holocene age for the sliding event.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7340
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7359
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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