Feedbacks of CO2 dependent dissolved organic carbon production on atmospheric CO2 in an ocean biogeochemical model.

Bordelon-Katrynski, L. A. and Schneider, Birgit (2012) Feedbacks of CO2 dependent dissolved organic carbon production on atmospheric CO2 in an ocean biogeochemical model. Biogeosciences Discussions, 9 (7). pp. 7983-8011. DOI 10.5194/bgd-9-7983-2012.

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We use an ocean biogeochemical model to test whether a potential CO2 dependence of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) production may have an influence on marine carbon sequestration via particle aggregation and so may represent a potentially larger ocean sink for anthropogenic CO2. The hypothesis is based on mesocosm experiments that have shown enhanced carbon uptake by phytoplankton when more CO2 is available, and where the extra carbon was probably directly routed into DOC instead of the particulate phase. Sensitivity experiments are carried out where phytoplankton exudation of DOC is systematically increased with and without a parallel rise in atmospheric CO2. We find that under a fourfold increase of the DOC formation rate, there is a slight reduction of global particle export, which results in a shallower turnover of nutrients and carbon. As a consequence, a positive feedback loop develops, such that the ocean becomes a weak source of CO2 to the atmosphere. The effect is amplified under high CO2 conditions due to the decreased CO2 buffer capacity of the ocean, however, it is rather low compared to the total anthropogenic perturbation. The positive feedback is in contrast to a very similar study, where a slight stimulation of particle export was found. Therefore, we conclude that the sign of the feedback depends on the actual pathway the extra carbon is taking and on the overall background conditions of marine primary production and ocean circulation.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Institute of Geosciences
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
Refereed: No
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bgd-9-7983-2012
ISSN: 1810-6285
Projects: BIOACID
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 13:11
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2013 11:37

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