Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-1283-2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-1283-2018
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05 Dec 2018
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 05 Dec 2018

Light absorption by marine cyanobacteria affects tropical climate mean state and variability

Hanna Paulsen, Tatiana Ilyina, Johann H. Jungclaus, Katharina D. Six, and Irene Stemmler

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Short summary
We use an Earth system model to study the effects of light absorption by marine cyanobacteria on climate. We find that cyanobacteria have a considerable cooling effect on tropical SST with implications for ocean and atmosphere circulation patterns as well as for climate variability. The results indicate the importance of considering phytoplankton light absorption in climate models, and specifically highlight the role of cyanobacteria due to their regulative effect on tropical SST and climate.
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