Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-40
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-40
22 Dec 2023
 | 22 Dec 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Ocean biogeochemical reconstructions to estimate historical ocean CO2 uptake

Raffaele Bernardello, Valentina Sicardi, Vladimir Lapin, Pablo Ortega, Yohan Ruprich-Robert, Etienne Tourigny, and Eric Ferrer

Abstract. Given the role of the ocean in mitigating climate change through CO2 absorption, it is important to improve our ability to quantify the historical ocean CO2 uptake, including its natural variability, for carbon budgeting purposes. In this study we present an exhaustive intercomparison between two ocean modelling practices that can be used to reconstruct the historical ocean CO2 uptake. By comparing the simulations to a wide array of ocean physical and biogeochemical observational datasets, we show how constraining the ocean physics towards observed temperature and salinity results in a better representation of global biogeochemistry. We identify the main driver of this improvement to be a more realistic representation of large scale meridional overturning circulation together with improvements in mixed layer depth and sea surface temperature. Nevertheless, surface chlorophyll was rather insensitive to these changes, and, in some regions, its representation worsened. We identified the causes of this response to be a combination of a lack of robust parameter optimization and limited changes in environmental conditions for phytoplankton. We conclude that although the direct validation of CO2 fluxes is challenging, the pervasive improvement observed in most aspects of biogeochemistry when applying data assimilation of observed temperature and salinity is encouraging; therefore, data assimilation should be included in multi-method international efforts aimed at reconstructing the ocean CO2 uptake.

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Raffaele Bernardello, Valentina Sicardi, Vladimir Lapin, Pablo Ortega, Yohan Ruprich-Robert, Etienne Tourigny, and Eric Ferrer

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-40', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Jan 2024
    • EC1: 'Reply on RC1', Zhenghui Xie, 20 Feb 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Raffaele Bernardello, 28 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2023-40', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Feb 2024
    • EC2: 'Reply on RC2', Zhenghui Xie, 20 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Raffaele Bernardello, 28 Mar 2024
Raffaele Bernardello, Valentina Sicardi, Vladimir Lapin, Pablo Ortega, Yohan Ruprich-Robert, Etienne Tourigny, and Eric Ferrer
Raffaele Bernardello, Valentina Sicardi, Vladimir Lapin, Pablo Ortega, Yohan Ruprich-Robert, Etienne Tourigny, and Eric Ferrer

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Short summary
The ocean mitigates climate change by absorbing about 25 % of the carbon that is emitted to the atmosphere. However, ocean CO2 uptake is not constant in time and improving our understanding of the mechanisms regulating this variability can potentially lead to a better predictive capacity of its future behavior. In this study we compare two ocean modeling practices that are used to reconstruct the historical ocean carbon uptake, demonstrating the abilities of one over the other.
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