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Propagation of climatic events on ocean stratification, marine biology, and CO2: Case studies over the 1979-1999 period

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62461

Le Quéré,  C.
Department Biogeochemical Synthesis, Prof. C. Prentice, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Le Quéré, C., Aumont, O., Monfray, P., & Orr, J. (2003). Propagation of climatic events on ocean stratification, marine biology, and CO2: Case studies over the 1979-1999 period. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 108(C12), 3375. doi:10.1029/2001JC000920.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D0A5-A
Abstract
We investigate the propagation of climatic events on ocean stratification, marine biology, and CO2 using a large-scale ocean general circulation model coupled to a simple biogeochemical model of plankton dynamics and the carbon cycle. The model was forced with satellite and reanalysis fields during 1979-1999. We focus on three climatic events: (1) the North Atlantic Oscillation, (2) El Nino events, and (3) the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. Such climatic events caused variability in ocean stratification, approximated by the mixing depth (MD), from +/-20 m in the subtropics to +/-100 s of meters at high latitudes. In the subtropics, deepening of the MD resupplied nutrient-impoverished surface waters and increased marine biomass by 20-100%. In contrast, at high latitudes, shoaling of the MD lengthened the growing season (i.e., the length of time that light is available for plankton growth) and increased marine biomass by 10-20%. Variability in marine biology reached global peak-to-peak values of +/-0.01 mg m(-3) for surface chl a, +/-3.4 Pg C yr(-1) for primary production, and +/-0.3 Pg C yr(-1) for export production and its contribution to CO2 fluxes. Our model results suggest that changes in ocean stratification driven by short-term climatic events could be used to understand and quantify the feedbacks from marine biology to CO2 and climate.