Posts Tagged 'global'

A 1D Lattice Boltzmann model for ocean acidification

The impact of rejected anthropogenic CO2 is the object of numerous studies and concerns. If global warming is its most widely known consequence, ocean acidification is another important one. In this study, we will present a first version of a simulator dedicated to modeling the physico-chemical properties of ocean, and notably carbon concentrations. This model intends to describe a one-dimensional water column, and will be validated through comparison with data from the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The state variables in the final model will be Temperature, Salinity, Total CO2, Total Alkalinity and Oxygen (O2). In the present version of the model, only Temperature and Salinity are being present. The chosen modeling method is a Lattice Boltzmann scheme adapted and modified for this specific application. The model shows reasonable agreement between simulation and experimental measurements for the considered time scale, but results also show evidence that important improvements are needed.

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Shipping contributes to ocean acidification

The potential effect on surface water pH of emissions of SOX and NOX from global ship routes is assessed. The results indicate that regional pH reductions of the same order of magnitude as the CO2-driven acidification can occur in heavily trafficked waters. These findings have important consequences for ocean chemistry, since the sulfuric and nitric acids formed are strong acids in contrast to the weak carbonic acid formed by dissolution of CO2. Our results also provide background for discussion of expanded controls to mitigate acidification due to these shipping emissions.

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Role of mode and intermediate waters in future ocean acidification: analysis of CMIP5 models

Consistently with the past decades observations, CMIP5 Earth System Models project highest acidification rates in subsurface waters. Using 7 ESMs, we find that high acidification rates in mode and intermediate waters (MIW) on centennial timescales (-0.0008 ± 4 × 10–5 yr–1 to -0.0023 ± 0.0001 yr–1 depending on the scenario) are predominantly explained by the geochemical effect of increasing atmospheric CO2, whereas physical and biological climate change feedbacks explain less than 10% of the simulated changes. MIW are characterized by a larger surface area to volume ratio than deep and bottom waters leading to 5 to 10 times larger carbon uptake. In addition, MIW geochemical properties result in a sensitivity to increasing carbon concentration twice larger than surface waters (Δ[H+] of +1.2 mmol.m–3 for every mmol.m–3 of dissolved carbon in MIW vs. +0.6 in surface waters). Low pH transported by mode and intermediate waters are likely to influence surface pH in upwelling regions decades after their isolation from the atmosphere.

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Oxygen and indicators of stress for marine life in multi-model global warming projections (update)

Decadal-to-century scale trends for a range of marine environmental variables in the upper mesopelagic layer (UML, 100–600 m) are investigated using results from seven Earth System Models forced by a high greenhouse gas emission scenario. The models as a class represent the observation-based distribution of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2), albeit major mismatches between observation-based and simulated values remain for individual models. By year 2100 all models project an increase in SST between 2 °C and 3 °C, and a decrease in the pH and in the saturation state of water with respect to calcium carbonate minerals in the UML. A decrease in the total ocean inventory of dissolved oxygen by 2% to 4% is projected by the range of models. Projected O2 changes in the UML show a complex pattern with both increasing and decreasing trends reflecting the subtle balance of different competing factors such as circulation, production, remineralization, and temperature changes. Projected changes in the total volume of hypoxic and suboxic waters remain relatively small in all models. A widespread increase of CO2 in the UML is projected. The median of the CO2 distribution between 100 and 600m shifts from 0.1–0.2 mol m−3 in year 1990 to 0.2–0.4 mol m−3 in year 2100, primarily as a result of the invasion of anthropogenic carbon from the atmosphere. The co-occurrence of changes in a range of environmental variables indicates the need to further investigate their synergistic impacts on marine ecosystems and Earth System feedbacks.

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MEDUSA-2.0: an intermediate complexity biogeochemical model of the marine carbon cycle for climate change and ocean acidification studies

MEDUSA-1.0 (Model of Ecosystem Dynamics, nutrient Utilisation, Sequestration and Acidification) was developed as an “intermediate complexity” plankton ecosystem model to study the biogeochemical response, and especially that of the so-called “biological pump”, to anthropogenically-driven change in the World Ocean (Yool et al., 2011). The base currency in this model was nitrogen from which fluxes of organic carbon, including export to the deep ocean, were calculated by invoking fixed C:N ratios in phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus. Since the beginning of the industrial era, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has significantly increased above its natural, inter-glacial background concentration. Simulating and predicting the carbon cycle in the ocean in its entirety, including ventilation of CO2 with the atmosphere and the resulting impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems, therefore requires that both organic and inorganic carbon be afforded a full representation in the model specification. Here, we introduce MEDUSA-2.0, an expanded successor model which includes additional state variables for dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen and detritus carbon (permitting variable C:N in exported organic matter), as well as a simple benthic formulation and extended parameterisations of phytoplankton growth, calcification and detritus remineralisation. A full description of MEDUSA-2.0, including its additional functionality, is provided and a multi-decadal hindcast simulation described (1860–2005), to evaluate the biogeochemical performance of the model.

Continue reading ‘MEDUSA-2.0: an intermediate complexity biogeochemical model of the marine carbon cycle for climate change and ocean acidification studies’

Decoupled response of ocean acidification to variations in climate sensitivity

It is now well understood that the global surface ocean, whose pH has been reduced by ~0.1 in response to rising atmospheric CO2 since industrialization, will continue to become more acidic as fossil fuel CO2 emissions escalate. However, it is unclear how uncertainties in climate sensitivity to future CO2 emissions will alter the manifestation of ocean acidification. Using an earth system model of intermediate complexity, this study performs a set of simulations that varies equilibrium climate sensitivity by 1.0°–4.5°C for a given CO2 emissions scenario and finds two unexpected and decoupled responses. First, the greater the climate sensitivity, the larger the surface mixed layer acidification signal but the smaller the subsurface acidification. However, taken throughout the ocean, the highest climate sensitivity will paradoxically cause greater global warming while buffering whole-ocean pH by up to 24% on centennial time scales. Second, this study finds a large decoupling between pH and carbonate ion concentration in surface waters whereby these chemical properties show opposite effects under variable climate sensitivity. For every 1°C increase in climate sensitivity, the surface ocean pH reduction grows by 4%, while surface ocean carbonate ion reduction shrinks by 2%. The chemical and spatial decoupling found here highlights the importance of distinguishing the biological impacts of pH and aragonite saturation and understanding the spatial extent of important calcifying biomes so as to truly understand the long-term impacts of ocean acidification.

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Multiple stressors of ocean ecosystems in the 21st century: projections with CMIP5 models

Ocean ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced changes of their physical, chemical and biological environment. Among these changes, warming, acidification, deoxygenation and changes in primary productivity by marine phytoplankton can be considered as four of the major stressors of open ocean ecosystems. Due to rising atmospheric CO2 in the coming decades, these changes will be amplified. Here, we use the most recent simulations performed in the framework of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 to assess how these stressors may evolve over the course of the 21st century. The 10 Earth System Models used here project similar trends in ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and reduced primary productivity for each of the IPCC’s representative concentration parthways (RCP) over the 21st century. For the “business-as-usual” scenario RCP8.5, the model-mean changes in 2090s (compared to 1990s) for sea surface temperature, sea surface pH, global O2 content and integrated primary productivity amount to +2.73 °C, −0.33 pH unit, −3.45% and −8.6%, respectively. For the high mitigation scenario RCP2.6, corresponding changes are +0.71 °C, −0.07 pH unit, −1.81% and −2.0% respectively, illustrating the effectiveness of extreme mitigation strategies. Although these stressors operate globally, they display distinct regional patterns. Large decreases in O2 and in pH are simulated in global ocean intermediate and mode waters, whereas large reductions in primary production are simulated in the tropics and in the North Atlantic. Although temperature and pH projections are robust across models, the same does not hold for projections of sub-surface O2 concentrations in the tropics and global and regional changes in net primary productivity.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book