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Creators/Authors contains: "Williams, Richard G."

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  1. Abstract. The ocean carbon store plays a vital role in setting the carbon response to emissions and variability in the carbon cycle. However, due to the ocean's strong regional and temporal variability, sparse carbon observations limit our understanding of historical carbon changes.Ocean temperature and salinity profiles are more widespread and rapidly expanding due to autonomous programmes, and so we explore how temperature and salinity profiles can provide information to reconstruct ocean carbon inventories with ensemble optimal interpolation. Here, ensemble optimal interpolation is used to reconstruct ocean carbon using synthetic Argo temperature and salinity observations, with examples for both the top 100 m and top 2000 m carbon inventories.When considering reconstructions of the top 100 m carbon inventory, coherent relationships between upper-ocean carbon, temperature, salinity, and atmospheric CO2 result in optimal solutions that reflect the controls of undersaturation, solubility, and alkalinity.Out-of-sample reconstructions of the top 100 m show that, in most regions, the trend in ocean carbon and over 60 % of detrended variability can be reconstructed using local temperature and salinity measurements, with only small changes when considering synthetic profiles consistent with irregular Argo sampling.Extending the method to reconstruct the upper 2000 m reveals that model uncertainties at depth limit the reconstruction skill.The impact of these uncertainties on reconstructing the carbon inventory over the upper 2000 m is small, and full reconstructions with historical Argo locations show that the method can reconstruct regional inter-annual and decadal variability.Hence, optimal interpolation based on model relationships combined with hydrographic measurements can provide valuable information about global ocean carbon inventory changes. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    The connections between the overturning of the subpolar North Atlantic and regional density changes are assessed on interannual and decadal timescales using historical, data‐based reconstructions of the overturning over the last 60 years and forward model integrations with buoyancy and wind forcing. The data‐based reconstructions reveal a dominant eastern basin contribution to the subpolar overturning in density space and changes in the overturning reaching ±2.5 Sv, which are both in accord with the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP). The zonally integrated geostrophic velocity across the basin is connected to boundary contrasts in Montgomery potential in density space. The overturning for the eastern side of the basin is strongly correlated with density changes in the Irminger and Labrador Seas, while the overturning for the western side is correlated with boundary density changes in the Labrador Sea. These boundary density signals are a consequence of local atmospheric forcing and transport of upstream density changes. In forward model experiments, a localized density increase over the Irminger Sea increases the overturning over both sides of the basin due to dense waters spreading to the Labrador Sea. Conversely, a localized density increase over the Labrador Sea only increases the overturning for the western basin and instead eventually decreases the overturning for the eastern basin. Labrador Sea density provides a useful overturning metric by its direct control of the overturning over the western side and lower latitudes of the subpolar basin.

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  3. Abstract

    The dispersal of dissolved iron (DFe) from hydrothermal vents is poorly constrained. Combining field observations and a modeling hierarchy, we find the dispersal of DFe from the Trans‐Atlantic‐Geotraverse vent site occurs predominantly in the colloidal phase and is controlled by multiple physical processes. Enhanced mixing near the seafloor and transport through fracture zones at fine‐scales interacts with the wider ocean circulation to drive predominant westward DFe dispersal away from the Mid‐Atlantic ridge at the 100 km scale. In contrast, diapycnal mixing predominantly drives northward DFe transport within the ridge axial valley. The observed DFe dispersal is not reproduced by the coarse resolution ocean models typically used to assess ocean iron cycling due to their omission of local topography and mixing. Unless biogeochemical models account for fine‐scale physics and colloidal Fe, they will inaccurately represent DFe dispersal from axial valley ridge systems, which make up half of the global ocean ridge crest.

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