Posts Tagged 'modeling'

Meeting climate targets by direct CO2 injections: what price would the ocean have to pay? (update)

We investigate the climate mitigation potential and collateral effects of direct injections of captured CO2 into the deep ocean as a possible means to close the gap between an intermediate CO2 emissions scenario and a specific temperature target, such as the 1.5 ∘C target aimed for by the Paris Agreement. For that purpose, a suite of approaches for controlling the amount of direct CO2 injections at 3000 m water depth are implemented in an Earth system model of intermediate complexity.

Following the representative concentration pathway RCP4.5, which is a medium mitigation CO2 emissions scenario, cumulative CO2 injections required to meet the 1.5 ∘C climate goal are found to be 390 Gt C by the year 2100 and 1562 Gt C at the end of simulations, by the year 3020. The latter includes a cumulative leakage of 602 Gt C that needs to be reinjected in order to sustain the targeted global mean temperature.

CaCO3 sediment and weathering feedbacks reduce the required CO2 injections that comply with the 1.5 ∘C target by about 13 % in 2100 and by about 11 % at the end of the simulation.

With respect to the injection-related impacts we find that average pH values in the surface ocean are increased by about 0.13 to 0.18 units, when compared to the control run. In the model, this results in significant increases in potential coral reef habitats, i.e., the volume of the global upper ocean (0 to 130 m depth) with omega aragonite > 3.4 and ocean temperatures between 21 and 28 ∘C, compared to the control run. The potential benefits in the upper ocean come at the expense of strongly acidified water masses at depth, with maximum pH reductions of about −2.37 units, relative to preindustrial levels, in the vicinity of the injection sites. Overall, this study demonstrates that massive amounts of CO2 would need to be injected into the deep ocean in order to reach and maintain the 1.5 ∘C climate target in a medium mitigation scenario on a millennium timescale, and that there is a trade-off between injection-related reductions in atmospheric CO2 levels accompanied by reduced upper-ocean acidification and adverse effects on deep-ocean chemistry, particularly near the injection sites.

Continue reading ‘Meeting climate targets by direct CO2 injections: what price would the ocean have to pay? (update)’

Seasonal patterns of surface inorganic carbon system variables in the Gulf of Mexico inferred from a regional high-resolution ocean biogeochemical model (update)

Uncertainties in carbon chemistry variability still remain large in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), as data gaps limit our ability to infer basin-wide patterns. Here we configure and validate a regional high-resolution ocean biogeochemical model for the GoM to describe seasonal patterns in surface pressure of CO2 (pCO2), aragonite saturation state (ΩAr), and sea–air CO2 flux. Model results indicate that seasonal changes in surface pCO2 are strongly controlled by temperature across most of the GoM basin, except in the vicinity of the Mississippi–Atchafalaya river system delta, where runoff largely controls dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) changes. Our model results also show that seasonal patterns of surface ΩAr are driven by seasonal changes in DIC and TA, and reinforced by the seasonal changes in temperature. Simulated sea–air CO2 fluxes are consistent with previous observation-based estimates that show CO2 uptake during winter–spring, and CO2 outgassing during summer–fall. Annually, our model indicates a basin-wide mean CO2 uptake of 0.35 molm−2yr−1, and a northern GoM shelf (< 200 m) uptake of 0.93 molm−2yr−1. The observation and model-derived patterns of surface pCO2 and CO2 fluxes show good correspondence; thus this study contributes to improved constraints of the carbon budget in the region.

Continue reading ‘Seasonal patterns of surface inorganic carbon system variables in the Gulf of Mexico inferred from a regional high-resolution ocean biogeochemical model (update)’

A sediment trap evaluation of B/Ca as a carbonate system proxy in asymbiotic and nondinoflagellate hosting planktonic foraminifera

The ratio of boron to calcium (B/Ca) in a subset of foraminifera has been shown to covary with seawater carbonate chemistry, making this geochemical signature a promising proxy for carbon cycle science. Some studies suggest complications with the B/Ca proxy in photosymbiont‐bearing planktonic foraminifera, while relatively few studies have investigated B/Ca in species that lack large dinoflagellate symbionts. For the first time, we use a sediment trap time series to evaluate B/Ca of subtropical and subpolar planktonic foraminifera species that are asymbiotic (Globigerina bulloides and Neogloboquadrina incompta) and a species that hosts small intrashell photosymbionts (Neogloboquadrina dutertrei). We find that B/Ca measurements across size fractions indicate overall little to no size‐dependent uptake of boron that has previously been reported in some symbiont‐bearing foraminifera. Neogloboquadrina incompta and N. dutertrei B/Ca are strongly correlated with calcite saturation, pH, and carbonate ion concentration, which is in good agreement with the limited number of published core top results. While G. bulloides B/Ca trends with seasonal fluctuations in carbonate chemistry, during discrete periods considerable B/Ca offsets occur when a cryptic G. bulloides species is known to be seasonally present within the region. We confirm presence and significant B/Ca offset between cryptic species by individual LA‐ICP‐MS analyses. This finding calls into question the use of traditional morphological classification to lump what might be genetically distinct species for geochemical analyses. Our overall results highlight the utility of G. bulloides, N. incompta, and N. dutertrei B/Ca while bringing to light new considerations regarding divergent geochemistry of cryptic species.

Continue reading ‘A sediment trap evaluation of B/Ca as a carbonate system proxy in asymbiotic and nondinoflagellate hosting planktonic foraminifera’

The importance of environmental exposure history in forecasting Dungeness crab megalopae occurrence using J-SCOPE, a high-resolution model for the US Pacific Northwest

The Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) fishery is one of the highest value fisheries in the US Pacific Northwest, but its catch size fluctuates widely across years. Although the underlying causes of this wide variability are not well understood, the abundance of M. magister megalopae has been linked to recruitment into the adult fishery 4 years later. These pelagic megalopae are exposed to a range of ocean conditions during their dispersal period, which may drive their occurrence patterns. Environmental exposure history has been found to be important for some pelagic organisms, so we hypothesized that inclusion of recent environmental exposure history would improve our ability to predict inter-annual variability in M. magister megalopae occurrence patterns compared to using “in situ” conditions alone. We combined 8 years of local observations of M. magister megalopae and regional simulations of ocean conditions to model megalopae occurrence using a generalized linear model (GLM) framework. The modeled ocean conditions were extracted from JISAO’s Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem (J-SCOPE), a high-resolution coupled physical-biogeochemical model. The analysis included variables from J-SCOPE identified in the literature as important for larval crab occurrence: temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen concentration, nitrate concentration, phytoplankton concentration, pH, aragonite, and calcite saturation state. GLMs were developed with either in situ ocean conditions or environmental exposure histories generated using particle tracking experiments. We found that inclusion of exposure history improved the ability of the GLMs to predict megalopae occurrence 98% of the time. Of the six swimming behaviors used to simulate megalopae dispersal, five behaviors generated GLMs with superior fits to the observations, so a biological ensemble of these models was constructed. When the biological ensemble was used for forecasting, the model showed skill in predicting megalopae occurrence (AUC = 0.94). Our results highlight the importance of including exposure history in larval occurrence modeling and help provide a method for predicting pelagic megalopae occurrence. This work is a step toward developing a forecast product to support management of the fishery.

Continue reading ‘The importance of environmental exposure history in forecasting Dungeness crab megalopae occurrence using J-SCOPE, a high-resolution model for the US Pacific Northwest’

Effects of climate change and fishing on the Pearl River Estuary ecosystem and fisheries

Climate change poses a challenge to the management of marine ecosystems and fisheries. Estuarine ecosystems in particular are exposed to a broad range of environmental changes caused by the effects of climate change both on land and in the ocean, and such ecosystems have also had a long history of human disturbance from over-exploitation and habitat changes. In this study, we examine the effects of climate change and fishing on the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) ecosystem using Ecopath with Ecosim. Our results show that changes in net primary production and ocean warming are the dominant climatic factors impacting biomass and fisheries productivity in the PRE. Additionally, physiological changes of fishes and invertebrates that are induced by climate change were projected to be modified by trophic interactions. Overall, our study suggests that the combined effects of climate change and fishing will reduce the potential fisheries catches in the PRE. Reducing fishing efforts can reduce the impacts of climate change on selected functional groups; however, some prey fishes are expected to experience higher predation mortality and consequently decreases in biomass under low fishing intensity scenarios. Thus, our study highlights the non-linearity of the responses of estuarine ecosystems when climate change interacts with other human stressors.

Continue reading ‘Effects of climate change and fishing on the Pearl River Estuary ecosystem and fisheries’

A global assessment of the vulnerability of shellfish aquaculture to climate change and ocean acidification

Human‐induced climate change and ocean acidification (CC‐OA) is changing the physical and biological processes occurring within the marine environment, with poorly understood implications for marine life. Within the aquaculture sector, molluskan culture is a relatively benign method of producing a high‐quality, healthy, and sustainable protein source for the expanding human population. We modeled the vulnerability of global bivalve mariculture to impacts of CC‐OA over the period 2020–2100, under RCP8.5. Vulnerability, assessed at the national level, was dependent on CC‐OA‐related exposure, taxon‐specific sensitivity and adaptive capacity in the sector. Exposure risk increased over time from 2020 to 2100, with ten nations predicted to experience very high exposure to CC‐OA in at least one decade during the period 2020–2100. Predicted high sensitivity in developing countries resulted, primarily, from the cultivation of species that have a narrow habitat tolerance, while in some European nations (France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) high sensitivity was attributable to the relatively high economic value of the shellfish production sector. Predicted adaptive capacity was low in developing countries primarily due to governance issues, while in some developed countries (Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) it was linked to limited species diversity in the sector. Developing and least developed nations (n = 15) were predicted to have the highest overall vulnerability. Across all nations, 2060 was identified as a tipping point where predicted CC‐OA will be associated with the greatest challenge to shellfish production. However, rapid declines in mollusk production are predicted to occur in the next decade for some nations, notably North Korea. Shellfish culture offers human society a low‐impact source of sustainable protein. This research highlights, on a global scale, the likely extent and nature of the CC‐OA‐related threat to shellfish culture and this sector enabling early‐stage adaption and mitigation.

Continue reading ‘A global assessment of the vulnerability of shellfish aquaculture to climate change and ocean acidification’

A regional hindcast model simulating ecosystem dynamics, inorganic carbon chemistry and ocean acidification in the Gulf of Alaska

The coastal ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) is especially vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification and climate change that can only be understood within the context of the natural variability of physical and chemical conditions. Controlled by its complex bathymetry, iron enriched freshwater discharge, and wind and solar radiation, the GOA is a highly dynamic system that exhibits large inorganic carbon variability from subseasonal to interannual timescales. This variability is poorly understood due to the lack of observations in this expansive and remote region. To improve our conceptual understanding of the system, we developed a new model set-up for the GOA that couples the three-dimensional Regional Oceanic Model System (ROMS), the Carbon, Ocean Biogeochemistry and Lower Trophic (COBALT) ecosystem model, and a high resolution terrestrial hydrological model. Here, we evaluate the model on seasonal to interannual timescales using the best available inorganic carbon observations. The model was particularly successful in reproducing observed aragonite oversaturation and undersaturation of near-bottom water in May and September, respectively. The largest deficiency of the model is perhaps its inability to adequately simulate spring time surface inorganic carbon chemistry, as it overestimates surface dissolved inorganic carbon, which translates into an underestimation of the surface aragonite saturation state at this time. We also use the model to describe the seasonal cycle and drivers of inorganic carbon parameters along the Seward Line transect in under-sampled months. As such, model output suggests that a majority of the near-bottom water along the Seward Line is seasonally under-saturated with regard to aragonite between June and January, as a result of upwelling and remineralization. Such an extensive period of reoccurring aragonite undersaturation may be harmful to CO2 sensitive organisms. Furthermore, the influence of freshwater not only decreases aragonite saturation state in coastal surface waters in summer and fall, but simultaneously also decreases surface pCO2, thereby decoupling the aragonite saturation state from pCO2. The full seasonal cycle and geographic extent of the GOA region is undersampled, and our model results give new and important insights for months of the year and areas that lack in situ inorganic carbon observations.

Continue reading ‘A regional hindcast model simulating ecosystem dynamics, inorganic carbon chemistry and ocean acidification in the Gulf of Alaska’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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