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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 8, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Estimating fire emissions prior to the satellite era is challenging because observations are limited, leading to large uncertainties in the calculated aerosol climate forcing following the preindustrial era. This challenge further limits the ability of climate models to accurately project future climate change. Here, we reconstruct a gridded dataset of global biomass burning emissions from 1750 to 2010 using inverse analysis that leveraged a global array of 31 ice core records of black carbon deposition fluxes, two different historical emission inventories as a priori estimates, and emission-deposition sensitivities simulated by the atmospheric chemical transport model GEOS-Chem. The reconstructed emissions exhibit greater temporal variabilities which are more consistent with paleoclimate proxies. Our ice core constrained emissions reduced the uncertainties in simulated cloud condensation nuclei and aerosol radiative forcing associated with the discrepancy in preindustrial biomass burning emissions. The derived emissions can also be used in studies of ocean and terrestrial biogeochemistry.

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  3. Abstract

    This study develops a new regional model of the Southern Ocean including an improved representation of the iron biogeochemistry and ecosystem component, nesting within a biogeochemical ocean state estimate, and benchmarking with a suite of observations. The regional domain focuses on the Udintsev Fracture Zone (UFZ) in the central Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. The UFZ is characterized by the deep gap between the Pacific‐Antarctic Ridge and the East Pacific Rise, which is one of the key “choke points” of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current where major Southern Ocean fronts are constrained within close proximity to this topographic feature. It is also a region of elevated mesoscale eddy activity, especially downstream of the UFZ. The model reproduces observed partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the surface water (pCO2) remarkably well from seasonal to interannual timescales relative to prior studies (r = 0.89). The seasonality of pCO2is difficult to simulate correctly because it is a small residual between the opposing influences of temperature and carbon. This model represents an intermittent double peak pattern of pCO2; one driven by the summertime high temperature and another from the wintertime high of dissolved inorganic carbon. The model also captures the spatial and temporal structure of the regional net primary production with respect to the satellite ocean color products (r = 0.57). The model is further validated by comparing it with biogeochemical float observations from the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project, revealing the model performance and challenges to accurately represent physical and biogeochemical properties in frontal regions.

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  4. null (Ed.)
    Oxygen inventory of the global ocean has declined in recent decades potentially due to the warming-induced reduction in solubility as well as the circulation and biogeochemical changes associated with ocean warming and increasing stratification. Earth System Models predict continued oxygen decline for this century with profound impacts on marine ecosystem and fisheries. Observational constraint on the rate of oxygen loss is crucial for assessing the ability of models to accurately simulate these changes. There are only a few observational assessments of the global oceanic oxygen inventory reporting a range of oxygen loss. This study develops a gridded data set of dissolved oxygen for the global oceans using optimal interpolation method. The resulting gridded product includes full-depth map of dissolved oxygen as 5-year moving average from 1965 to 2015 with uncertainty estimates. The uncertainty can come from unresolved small-scale and high-frequency variability and mapping errors. The multi-decadal trend of global dissolved oxygen is in the range of −281 to −373 Tmol/decade. This estimate is more conservative than previous works. In this study, the grid points far from the observations are essentially set equal to zero anomaly from the climatology. Calculating global inventory with this approach produces a relatively conservative estimate; thus, the results from this study likely provide a useful lower bound estimate of the global oxygen loss. 
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  5. Abstract

    Earth System Models project a decline of dissolved oxygen in the oceans due to climate warming. Observational studies suggest that the ratio of O2inventory to ocean heat content is several fold larger than what can be explained by solubility alone, but the ratio remains poorly understood. In this work, models of different complexity are used to understand the factors controlling the air‐sea O2flux to heat flux ratio (O2/heat flux ratio) during deep convection. Our theoretical analysis based on a one‐dimensional convective adjustment model indicates that the vertical stratification and distribution of oxygen before the convective mixing determines the upper bound for the O2/heat flux ratio. Two competing rates, the mean entrainment rate of deeper waters into the mixed layer and the rate of air‐sea gas exchange, determine how much the actual ratio departs from the upper bound. The theoretical predictions are tested against the outputs of a regional ocean model. The model sensitivity experiments broadly agree with the theoretical predictions. Our results suggest that the relative vertical gradients of temperature and oxygen at sites of deep water formation are an important local metric to quantify the marginal changes between years with high and lower heat loss.

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  6. The Southern Ocean is an important region of ocean carbon uptake, and observations indicate its air‐sea carbon flux fluctuates from seasonal to decadal timescales. Carbon fluxes at regional scales remain highly uncertain due to sparse observation and intrinsic complexity of the biogeochemical processes. The objective of this study is to better understand the mechanisms influencing variability of carbon uptake in the Drake Passage. A regional circulation and biogeochemistry model is configured at the lateral resolution of 10 km, which resolves larger mesoscale eddies where the typical Rossby deformation radius is(50 km). We use this model to examine the interplay between mean and eddy advection, convective mixing, and biological carbon export that determines the surface dissolved inorganic carbon and partial pressure of carbon dioxide variability. Results are validated against in situ observations, demonstrating that the model captures general features of observed seasonal to interannual variability. The model reproduces the two major fronts: Polar Front (PF) and Subantarctic Front (SAF), with locally elevated level of eddy kinetic energy and lateral eddy carbon flux, which play prominent roles in setting the spatial pattern, mean state and variability of the regional carbon budget. The uptake of atmospheric CO2, vertical entrainment during cool seasons, and mean advection are the major carbon sources in the upper 200 m of the region. These sources are balanced by the biological carbon export during warm seasons and mesoscale eddy transfer. Comparing the induced advective carbon fluxes, mean flow dominates in magnitude, however, the amplitude of variability is controlled by the eddy flux.

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  7. Abstract

    Phytoplankton growth in the Indian Ocean is generally limited by macronutrients (nitrogen: N and phosphorus: P) in the north and by micronutrient (iron: Fe) in the south. Increasing atmospheric deposition of N and dissolved Fe (dFe) into the ocean due to human activities can thus lead to significant responses from both the northern and southern Indian Ocean ecosystems. Previous modeling studies investigated the impacts of anthropogenic nutrient deposition on the ocean, but their results are uncertain due to incomplete representations of the Fe cycling. This study uses a state‐of‐the‐art ocean ecosystem and Fe cycling model to evaluate the transient responses of ocean productivity and carbon uptake in the Indian Ocean, focusing on the centennial time scale. The model includes three major dFe sources and represents an internal Fe cycling modulated by scavenging, desorption, and complexation with multiple, spatially varying ligand classes. Sensitivity simulations show that after a century of anthropogenic deposition, ecosystem responses in the Indian Ocean are not uniform due to a competition between the phytoplankton community. In particular, the competition between diatom, coccolithophore, and picoplankton alters the balance between the organic and carbonate pumps in the Indian Ocean, increasing the carbon uptake along 50°S and the southeastern tropics while decreasing it in the Arabian Sea. Our results reveal the important role of ecosystem dynamics in controlling the sensitivity of carbon fluxes in the Indian Ocean under the impact of anthropogenic nutrient deposition over a centennial timescale.

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  8. Abstract

    Observations of dissolved iron (dFe) in the subtropical North Atlantic revealed remarkable features: While the near‐surface dFe concentration is low despite receiving high dust deposition, the subsurface dFe concentration is high. We test several hypotheses that might explain this feature in an ocean biogeochemistry model with a refined Fe cycling scheme. These hypotheses invoke a stronger lithogenic scavenging rate, rapid biological uptake, and a weaker binding between Fe and a ubiquitous, refractory ligand. While the standard model overestimates the surface dFe concentration, a 10‐time stronger biological uptake run causes a slight reduction in the model surface dFe. A tenfold decrease in the binding strength of the refractory ligand, suggested by recent observations, starts reproducing the observed dFe pattern, with a potential impact for the global nutrient distribution. An extreme value for the lithogenic scavenging rate can also match the model dFe with observations, but this process is still poorly constrained.

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