Primary production sensitivity to phytoplankton light attenuation parameter increases with transient forcing.

Kvale, Karin Frances and Meissner, Katrin J. (2017) Primary production sensitivity to phytoplankton light attenuation parameter increases with transient forcing. Open Access Biogeosciences (BG), 14 . pp. 4767-4780. DOI 10.5194/bg-14-4767-2017.

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Treatment of the underwater light field in ocean biogeochemical models has been attracting increasing interest, with some models moving towards more complex parameterisations. We conduct a simple sensitivity study of a typical, highly simplified parameterisation. In our study, we vary the phytoplankton light attenuation parameter over a range constrained by data during both pre-industrial equilibrated and future climate scenario RCP8.5. In equilibrium, lower light attenuation parameters (weaker self-shading) shift net primary production (NPP) towards the high latitudes, while higher values of light attenuation (stronger shelf-shading) shift NPP towards the low latitudes. Climate forcing magnifies this relationship through changes in the distribution of nutrients both within and between ocean regions. Where and how NPP responds to climate forcing can determine the magnitude and sign of global NPP trends in this high CO2 future scenario. Ocean oxygen is particularly sensitive to parameter choice. Under higher CO2 concentrations, two simulations establish a strong biogeochemical feedback between the Southern Ocean and low-latitude Pacific that highlights the potential for regional teleconnection. Our simulations serve as a reminder that shifts in fundamental properties (e.g. light attenuation by phytoplankton) over deep time have the potential to alter global biogeochemistry.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Corresponding Author:
Corresponding Author Name
Kvale, Karin Frances
Kvale, Karin Frances (Kvale, Karin F.)
FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Copernicus Publications (EGU)
Related URLs:
Projects: Opendap
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 14:00
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:15

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