Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-42
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-42

  08 Jul 2021

08 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Effect of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation on Atmospheric pCO2 Variations

Daan Boot1, Anna S. Von Der Heydt1,2, and Henk A. Dijkstra1,2 Daan Boot et al.
  • 1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Department of Physics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 2Center for Complex Systems Studies, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Proxy records show large variability of atmospheric pCO2 on different time scales. Most often such variations are attributed to a forced response of the carbon cycle to changes in external conditions. Here, we address the problem of internally generated variations in pCO2 due to pure carbon-cycle dynamics. We focus on the effect of the strength of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) on such internal variability. Using the Simple Carbon Project Model v1.0 (SCP-M), which we have extended to represent a suite of nonlinear carbon-cycle feedbacks, we efficiently explore the multi-dimensional parameter space to address the AMOC – pCO2 relationship. We find that climatic boundary conditions, and the representation of biological production in the model are most important for this relationship. When climate sensitivity in our model is increased, we find intrinsic oscillations due to Hopf bifurcations with multi-millennial periods. The mechanism behind these oscillations is clarified and related to the coupling of atmospheric pCO2 and the alkalinity cycle, via the river influx and the sediment outflux. This mechanism is thought to be relevant for explaining atmospheric pCO2 variability during glacial cycles.

Daan Boot et al.

Status: open (until 01 Sep 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Daan Boot et al.

Data sets

SCPM-AUTO Boot, D., Von der Heydt, A. S., and Dijkstra, H. A. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4972553

Model code and software

SCPM-AUTO Boot, D., Von der Heydt, A. S., and Dijkstra, H. A. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4972553

Daan Boot et al.

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Short summary
Atmospheric pCO2 of the past shows large variability on different time scales. We focus on the effect of the strength of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) on this variability and on the AMOC–pCO2 relationship. We find that climatic boundary conditions, and the representation of biology in our model are most important for this relationship. Under certain conditions, we find internal oscillations, that can be relevant for atmospheric pCO2 variability during glacial cycles.
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