Revisiting "nutrient trapping" in global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models.

Dietze, Heiner and Löptien, Ulrike (2013) Revisiting "nutrient trapping" in global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models. Open Access Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 27 (2). pp. 265-284. DOI 10.1002/gbc.20029.

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We analyze an extensive set of global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models. The focus is on the equatorial Pacific. In all simulations, which are consistent with observed standing stocks of relevant biogeochemical species at the surface, we find spuriously enhanced (reduced) macronutrient (oxygen) concentrations in the deep eastern equatorial Pacific. This modeling problem, apparently endemic to global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models, was coined “nutrient trapping” by Najjar et al. (1992). In contrast to Aumont et al. (1999), we argue that “nutrient trapping” is still a persistent problem, even in eddy-permitting models and, further, that the scale of the problem retards model projections of nitrogen cycling. In line with previous work, our results indicate that a deficient circulation is at the core of the problem rather than an admittedly poor quantitative understanding of biogeochemical cycles. More specifically, we present indications that “nutrient trapping” in models is a result of a spuriously damped Equatorial Intermediate (zonal) Current System and Equatorial Deep Jets—phenomenon which await a comprehensive understanding and have, to date, not been successfully simulated.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000322236000001
Keywords: biogeochemical modeling; ocean circulation; nutrient trapping; equatorial Pacific
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > SFB 754 > B1
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A2
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Related URLs:
Projects: SFB754, Opendap
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 10:27
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2023 05:28

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