Session: Glacial Climates (LGM, Last deglaciation, Ice sheet uncertainties, Glacial-interglacial cycles)
Author: Malin Ödalen / email@example.com / Dpt. of Meteorology, Stockholm University
Co-author: Jonas Nycander, Dpt. of Meteorology, Stockholm University;
Kevin Oliver, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, UK;
Laurent Brodeau, Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Barcelona, Spain;
Andy Ridgwell, School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol University, UK;
During the four most recent glacial cycles, atmospheric CO2 during glacial maxima has been lowered by about 90-100 ppm with respect to interglacials. There is widespread consensus that most of this carbon was partitioned in the ocean. It is however still debated which processes were dominant in achieving this increased carbon storage. Here, we use an Earth system model of intermediate complexity to constrain the range in ocean carbon storage for an ensemble of ocean circulation equilibrium states. We do a set of simulations where we run the model to pre-industrial equilibrium, but where we achieve different ocean circulation by changing forcing parameters such as wind stress, ocean diffusivity and atmospheric heat diffusivity. As a consequence, the ensemble members also have different ocean carbon reservoirs, global ocean average temperatures, biological pump efficiencies and conditions for air-sea CO2 disequilibrium. We analyse changes in total ocean carbon storage and separate it into contributions by the solubility pump, the biological pump and the CO2 disequilibrium component. We also relate these contributions to differences in strength of ocean overturning circulation. In cases with weaker circulation, we see that the ocean's capacity for carbon storage is larger. Depending on which ocean forcing parameter that is tuned, the origin of the change in carbon storage is different. When wind stress or ocean vertical diffusivity is changed, the response of the biological pump gives the most important effect on ocean carbon storage, whereas when atmospheric heat diffusivity or ocean horizontal diffusivity is changed, the solubility pump and the disequilibrium component are also important and sometimes dominant. Finally, we do a drawdown experiment, where we investigate the capacity for increased carbon storage by maximising the efficiency of the biological pump in our ensemble members. We conclude that different initial states for an ocean model result in different capacities for ocean carbon storage, due to differences in the ocean circulation state. This could explain why it is difficult to achieve comparable responses of the ocean carbon pumps in model intercomparison studies, where the initial states vary between models.