Posts Tagged 'globalmodeling'

Hysteresis of the Earth system under positive and negative CO2 emissions

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere is part of all emission scenarios of the IPCC that limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees C. Here, we investigate hysteresis characteristics in 4x pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration scenarios with exponentially increasing and decreasing CO2 using the Bern3D-LPX Earth system model of intermediate complexity. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and the rate of CDR are systematically varied. Hysteresis is quantified as the difference in a variable between the up and down pathway at identical cumulative carbon emissions. Typically, hysteresis increases non-linearly with increasing ECS, while its dependency on the CDR rate varies across variables. Large hysteresis is found for global surface air temperature (Delta SAT), upper ocean heat content, ocean deoxygenation, and acidification. We find distinct spatial patterns of hysteresis: Delta SAT exhibits strong polar amplification, hysteresis in O-2 is both positive and negative depending on the interplay between changes in remineralization of organic matter and ventilation. Due to hysteresis, sustained negative emissions are required to return to and keep a CO2 and warming target, particularly for high climate sensitivities and the large overshoot scenario considered here. Our results suggest, that not emitting carbon in the first place is preferable over carbon dioxide removal, even if technologies would exist to efficiently remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it away safely.

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Assessing coral reef condition indicators for local and global stressors using Bayesian networks

Coral reefs are highly valued ecosystems currently threatened by both local and global stressors. Given the importance of coral reef ecosystems, a Bayesian network approach can benefit an evaluation of threats to reef condition. To this end, we used data to evaluate the overlap between local stressors (overfishing and destructive fishing, watershed‐based pollution, marine‐based pollution, and coastal development threats), global stressors (acidification and thermal stress) and management effectiveness with indicators of coral reef health (live coral index, live coral cover, population bleaching, colony bleaching and recently killed corals). Each of the coral health indicators had Bayesian networks constructed globally and for Pacific, Atlantic, Australia, Middle East, Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia coral reef locations. Sensitivity analysis helped evaluate the strength of the relationships between different stressors and reef condition indicators. The relationships between indicators and stressors were also evaluated with conditional analyses of linear and nonlinear interactions. In this process, a standardized direct effects analysis was emphasized with a target mean analysis to predict changes in the mean value of the reef indicator from individual changes to the distribution of the predictor variables. The standardized direct effects analysis identified higher risks in the Middle East for watershed‐based pollution with population bleaching and Australia for overfishing and destructive fishing with living coral. For thermal stress, colony bleaching and recently killed coral in the Indian Ocean were found to have the strongest direct associations. For acidification threat, Australia had a relatively strong association with colony bleaching and the Middle East had the strongest overall association with recently killed coral although extrapolated spatial data were used for the acidification estimates. The Bayesian network approach helped to explore the relationships among existing databases used for policy development in coral reef management by examining the sensitivity of multiple indicators of reef condition to spatially‐distributed stress.

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Global trends of ocean CO2 sink and ocean acidification: an observation-based reconstruction of surface ocean inorganic carbon variables

Ocean acidification is likely to impact marine ecosystems and human societies adversely and is a carbon cycle issue of great concern. Projecting the degree of ocean acidification and the carbon-climate feedback will require understanding the current status, variability, and trends of ocean inorganic carbon system variables and the ocean carbon sink. With this goal in mind, we reconstructed total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), CO2 partial pressure (pCO2sea), sea–air CO2 flux, pH, and aragonite saturation state (Ωarg) for the global ocean based on measurements of pCO2sea and TA. We used a multiple linear regression approach to derive relationships to explain TA and DIC and obtained monthly 1° × 1° gridded values of TA and DIC for the period 1993–2018. These data were converted to pCO2sea, pH, and Ωarg, and monthly sea-air CO2 fluxes were obtained in combination with atmospheric CO2. Mean annual sea–air CO2 flux and its rate of change were estimated to be − 2.0 ± 0.5 PgC year−1 and − 0.3 (PgC year−1) decade−1, respectively. Our analysis revealed that oceanic CO2 uptake decreased during the 1990s and has been increasing since 2000. Our estimate of the globally averaged rate of pH change, − 0.0181 ± 0.0001 decade−1, was consistent with that expected from the trend of atmospheric CO2 growth. However, rates of decline of pH were relatively slow in the Southern Ocean (− 0.0165 ± 0.0001·decade−1) and in the western equatorial Pacific (− 0.0148 ± 0.0002·decade−1). Our estimate of the globally averaged rate of pH change can be used to verify Indicator 14.3.1 of Sustainable Development Goals.

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OceanSODA-ETHZ: A global gridded data set of the surface ocean carbonate system for seasonal to decadal studies of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification has altered the ocean’s carbonate chemistry profoundly since preindustrial times, with potentially serious consequences for marine life. Yet, no long-term global observation-based data set exists that permits to study changes in ocean acidification for all carbonate system parameters over the last few decades. Here, we fill this gap and present a methodologically consistent global data set of all relevant surface ocean parameters, i.e., dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA), partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), pH, and the saturation state with respect to mineral CaCO3 (Ω) at monthly resolution over the period 1985 through 2018 at a spatial resolution of 1 × 1°. This data set, named OceanSODA-ETHZ, was created by extrapolating in time and space the surface ocean observations of pCO2 (from the Surface Ocean CO2 ATlas (SOCAT)) and total alkalinity (TA, from the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project (GLODAP)) using the newly developed Geospatial Random Cluster Ensemble Regression (GRaCER) method. This method is based on a two-step (cluster-regression) approach, but extends it by considering an ensemble of such cluster-regressions, leading to higher robustness. Surface ocean DIC, pH, and Ω were then computed from the globally mapped pCO2 and TA using the thermodynamic equations of the carbonate system. For the open ocean, the cluster regression method estimates pCO2 and TA with global near-zero biases and root mean squared errors of 12 µatm and 13 µmol kg−1, respectively. Taking into account also the measurement and representation errors, the total error increases to 14 µatm and 21 µmol kg−1, respectively. We assess the fidelity of the computed parameters by comparing them to direct observations from GLODAP, finding surface ocean pH and DIC global biases of near zero, and root mean squared errors of 0.023 and 16 µmol kg−1, respectively. These errors are very comparable to those expected by propagating the total errors from pCO2 and TA through the thermodynamic computations, indicating a robust and conservative assessment of the errors. We illustrate the potential of this new dataset by analyzing the climatological mean seasonal cycles of the different parameters of the surface ocean carbonate system, highlighting their commonalities and differences. The OceanSODA-ETHZ data can be downloaded from (Gregor and Gruber, 2020).

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Projected expansion of Trichodesmium’s geographical distribution and increase in growth potential in response to climate change

Estimates of marine N2 fixation range from 52 to 73 Tg N/year, of which we calculate up to 84% is from Trichodesmium based on previous measurements of nifH gene abundance and our new model of Trichodesmium growth. Here, we assess the likely effects of four major climate change‐related abiotic factors on the spatiotemporal distribution and growth potential of Trichodesmium for the last glacial maximum (LGM), the present (2006–2015) and the end of this century (2100) by mapping our model of Trichodesmium growth onto inferred global surface ocean fields of pCO2, temperature, light and Fe. We conclude that growth rate was severely limited by low pCO2 at the LGM, that current pCO2 levels do not significantly limit Trichodesmium growth and thus, the potential for enhanced growth from future increases in CO2 is small. We also found that the area of the ocean where sea surface temperatures (SST) are within Trichodesmium‘s thermal niche increased by 32% from the LGM to present, but further increases in SST due to continued global warming will reduce this area by 9%. However, the range reduction at the equator is likely to be offset by enhanced growth associated with expansion of regions with optimal or near optimal Fe and light availability. Between now and 2100, the ocean area of optimal SST and irradiance is projected to increase by 7%, and the ocean area of optimal SST, irradiance and iron is projected to increase by 173%. Given the major contribution of this keystone species to annual N2 fixation and thus pelagic ecology, biogeochemistry and CO2 sequestration, the projected increase in the geographical range for optimal growth could provide a negative feedback to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

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Increase in ocean acidity variability and extremes under increasing atmospheric CO2

Ocean acidity extreme events are short-term periods of relatively high [H+] concentrations. The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 emissions by the ocean is expected to lead to more frequent and intense ocean acidity extreme events, not only due to changes in the long-term mean but also due to changes in short-term variability. Here, we use daily mean output from a five-member ensemble simulation of a comprehensive Earth system model under low- and high-CO2-emission scenarios to quantify historical and future changes in ocean acidity extreme events. When defining extremes relative to a fixed preindustrial baseline, the projected increase in mean [H+] causes the entire surface ocean to reach a near-permanent acidity extreme state by 2030 under both the low- and high-CO2-emission scenarios. When defining extremes relative to a shifting baseline (i.e., neglecting the changes in mean [H+]), ocean acidity extremes are also projected to increase because of the simulated increase in [H+] variability; e.g., the number of days with extremely high surface [H+] conditions is projected to increase by a factor of 14 by the end of the 21st century under the high-CO2-emission scenario relative to preindustrial levels. Furthermore, the duration of individual extreme events is projected to triple, and the maximal intensity and the volume extent in the upper 200 m are projected to quintuple. Similar changes are projected in the thermocline. Under the low-emission scenario, the increases in ocean acidity extreme-event characteristics are substantially reduced. At the surface, the increases in [H+] variability are mainly driven by increases in [H+] seasonality, whereas changes in thermocline [H+] variability are more influenced by interannual variability. Increases in [H+] variability arise predominantly from increases in the sensitivity of [H+] to variations in its drivers (i.e., carbon, alkalinity, and temperature) due to the increase in oceanic anthropogenic carbon. The projected increase in [H+] variability and extremes may enhance the risk of detrimental impacts on marine organisms, especially for those that are adapted to a more stable environment.

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Twenty-first century ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and upper-ocean nutrient and primary production decline from CMIP6 model projections

Anthropogenic climate change is projected to lead to ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation, reductions in near-surface nutrients, and changes to primary production, all of which are expected to affect marine ecosystems. Here we assess projections of these drivers of environmental change over the twenty-first century from Earth system models (ESMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) that were forced under the CMIP6 Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). Projections are compared to those from the previous generation (CMIP5) forced under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). A total of 10 CMIP5 and 13 CMIP6 models are used in the two multi-model ensembles. Under the high-emission scenario SSP5-8.5, the multi-model global mean change (2080–2099 mean values relative to 1870–1899) ± the inter-model SD in sea surface temperature, surface pH, subsurface (100–600 m) oxygen concentration, euphotic (0–100 m) nitrate concentration, and depth-integrated primary production is +3.47±0.78 ∘C, −0.44±0.005, −13.27±5.28, −1.06±0.45 mmol m−3 and −2.99±9.11 %, respectively. Under the low-emission, high-mitigation scenario SSP1-2.6, the corresponding global changes are +1.42±0.32 ∘C, −0.16±0.002, −6.36±2.92, −0.52±0.23 mmol m−3, and −0.56±4.12 %. Projected exposure of the marine ecosystem to these drivers of ocean change depends largely on the extent of future emissions, consistent with previous studies. The ESMs in CMIP6 generally project greater warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and nitrate reductions but lesser primary production declines than those from CMIP5 under comparable radiative forcing. The increased projected ocean warming results from a general increase in the climate sensitivity of CMIP6 models relative to those of CMIP5. This enhanced warming increases upper-ocean stratification in CMIP6 projections, which contributes to greater reductions in upper-ocean nitrate and subsurface oxygen ventilation. The greater surface acidification in CMIP6 is primarily a consequence of the SSPs having higher associated atmospheric CO2 concentrations than their RCP analogues for the same radiative forcing. We find no consistent reduction in inter-model uncertainties, and even an increase in net primary production inter-model uncertainties in CMIP6, as compared to CMIP5.

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Using the Health Belief Model to explore the impact of environmental empathy on behavioral intentions to protect ocean health

We examine psychological mediating mechanisms to promote ocean health among the U.S. public. Ocean acidification (OA) was chosen as the focus, as experts consider it as important as climate change with the same cause of humanity’s excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but it is lesser known. Empathy is a multi-dimensional concept that includes cognitive and emotional aspects. Previous literature argues that environmental empathy can facilitate positive behaviors. We tested the hypothesis that empathy affects beliefs and behavioral intentions regarding ocean health using the Health Belief Model. We found that higher empathy toward ocean health led to higher perceived susceptibility and severity from OA, greater perceived benefits of CO2 emissions reduction, greater perceived barriers, and keener attention to the media. Beliefs and media attention positively influenced behavioral intentions (e.g., willingness to buy a fuel efficient car). Theoretical and practical implications regarding audience targeting and intervention design are discussed.

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Irreversibility of marine climate change impacts under carbon dioxide removal

Artificial carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere has been proposed as a measure for mitigating climate change and restoring the climate system to a target state after exceedance (“overshoot”). This research investigates to what extent overshoot and subsequent recovery of a given cumulative CO2 emissions level by CDR leaves a legacy in the marine environment using an Earth system model. We use RCP2.6 and its extension to year 2300 as the reference scenario and design a set of cumulative emissions and temperature overshoot scenarios based on other RCPs. Our results suggest that the overshoot and subsequent return to a reference cumulative emissions level would leave substantial impacts on the marine environment. Although the changes in sea surface temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen are largely reversible, global mean values and spatial patterns of these variables differ significantly from those in the reference scenario when the reference cumulative emissions are attained.

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Towards an understanding of the Ca isotopic signal related to ocean acidification and alkalinity overshoots in the rock record

In this contribution, we explore the idea that the Ca isotope proxy has utility as an indicator of carbonate authigenesis (i.e., post-depositional precipitation of CaCO3 within the sedimentary package). Given the strong contrast in isotopic fractionation factor between the formational and diagenetic environments, Ca isotopes have the potential to fingerprint carbonate authigenesis when it occurs close to the seawater-sediment interface. We demonstrate that Ca isotopes are particularly applicable to exploring ocean acidification events, and potentially ocean anoxic events, and focus our attention on ocean acidification related to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). We present three scenarios that vary in magnitude and duration of carbon fluxes simulated using an Earth System model of intermediate complexity (cGENIE) and use the cGENIE output to constrain the upper boundary conditions of 1-D reactive transport models of authigenesis and recrystallization in the sedimentary section. Along with simple mixing calculations, the models inform our exploration of the hypothesis that authigenic carbonate induced by a saturation state overshoot during the PETM explains recently published Ca isotope records, and perhaps bulk carbonate records over Ocean Anoxic Event (OAE) 2. Our simulations suggest that fractionation factor variability does not explain the PETM δ44Ca records, and we propose a δ44Ca-CaCO3 space framework to assist with the elucidation of authigenic additions over time scales that are short relative to the residence time of Ca in the ocean (~1 Ma). Ultimately, we find that the ‘authigenic zone’ generated in the sedimentary column may be influenced by alkalinity overshoots or redox state; the CaCO3 produced in this zone can overprint temporal signals with depth-dependent signals that reflect lithology and sedimentation rate and need not be spatially uniform, even when driven by a global event. Ultimately, we demonstrate the utility of Ca isotopes for exploring short time scale climatic events and a quantitative framework to guide interpretations.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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