Project

Back to overview

CALNEX: Quantifying the exchange of carbon and nutrients between the coastal and open seas: A comparative modeling study of the California and Canary Current Systems

English title CALNEX: Quantifying the exchange of carbon and nutrients between the coastal and open seas: A comparative modeling study of the California and Canary Current Systems
Applicant Gruber Nicolas
Number 149384
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Biogeochemie und Schadstoffdynamik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Oceanography
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 31.10.2017
Approved amount 512'416.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Oceanography
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (4)

Ocean Biogeochemistry; Ocean Carbon cycle; open-coastal ocean exchange; Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Auftriebsgebiete vor den Westküsten Amerikas und Afrikas gehören zu den biologisch produktivsten Gebieten der Erde. Trotz ihrer Wichtigkeit sind viele Aspekte bezüglich ihrer Rolle für die globalen Kreisläufe von Kohlenstoff und Nährstoffe wenig verstanden. Besonders trifft dies zu auf die lateralen Austauschprozesse zwischen den produktiven Küstengebieten und dem angrenzenden offenen Meer, wo die fehlenden Nährstoffe die biologische Produktivität einschränken.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel

In unserem Projekt untersuchen wir diese Austauschprozesse mit Hilfe von zwei neu entwickelten Konfigurationen eines regionalen Ozeanmodelles (ROMS), d.h., eine Konfiguration für das Auftriebssystem des Kanarenstromes vor der Küste von Nordafrika und eine für den Kalifornienstrom vor Nordamerika. Diese Konfigurationen mit einem teleskopartigem Gitter erlauben uns sowohl die klein-skaligen Prozesse in Küstennähe zu simulieren als auch das angrenzende offene Meer vollständig zu berücksichtigen. Mit Hilfe dieser Modelle sowie einer Vielzahl von Daten werden wir die folgenden Hypothesen zu untersuchen: i) Durch ihre hohe Produktivität und ihren hohen lateralen Export von organischem Material stellen Auftriebssysteme einen wichtigen Bestandteil des globalen ozeanischen Stoffkreislaufes dar, ii) die lateral exportierten Nährstoffe erhöhen im offenen Meer die Veratmung und biologische Produktivität markant, und iii) die Breite des Schelfe und die Stärke der turbulenten Wirbel sind die wichtigsten -Grössen die darüber entscheiden, welcher Anteil des gebildeten organischen Materials lateral in das offene Meer transportiert werden.

Kontext

Globale Modelle, wie sie für die Untersuchung des Klimawandels eingesetzt werden, können aus rechentechnischen Gründen die feinskaligen Prozesse in den Küstengebieten nicht abbilden. Unsere Forschung wird uns erlauben, Annäherungen zu entwickeln, die in solchen globalen Modellen dann eingesetzt werden können. Das wird zu verbesserten und genaueren Projektionen des Klimas und des Kohlenstoffkreislaufes der Zukunft führen. 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 15.10.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
On the long-range offshore transport of organic carbon from the Canary Upwelling System to the open North Atlantic
Lovecchio Elisa, Gruber Nicolas, Münnich Matthias, Lachkar Zouhair (2017), On the long-range offshore transport of organic carbon from the Canary Upwelling System to the open North Atlantic, in BIOGEOSCIENCES, 14(13), 3337-3369.
Local atmospheric forcing driving an unexpected California Current System response during the 2015-2016 El Nino
Frischknecht Martin, Muennich Matthias, Gruber Nicolas (2017), Local atmospheric forcing driving an unexpected California Current System response during the 2015-2016 El Nino, in GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 44(1), 304-311.
Dominant role of eddies and filaments in the offshore transport of carbon and nutrients in the California Current System
Nagai Takeyoshi, Gruber Nicolas, Frenzel Hartmut, Lachkar Zouhair, McWilliams James C., Plattner Gian-Kasper (2015), Dominant role of eddies and filaments in the offshore transport of carbon and nutrients in the California Current System, in JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, 120(8), 5318-5341.
Remote versus local influence of ENSO on the California Current System
Frischknecht M., Muennich M., Gruber N. (2015), Remote versus local influence of ENSO on the California Current System, in JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, 120(2), 1353-1374.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ULPGC - Prof. Javier Arístegui Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
UCLA - Prof. J.C. McWilliams United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
NOAA Fisheries - Dr. Michael Jacox United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
USC - Prof. Christopher Edwards United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ICDC10: 10th International CO2 conference Poster Interannual variability of air-sea CO2 exchange, biological production and carbon export in the California Current System from 1979 to 2016 08.12.2017 Interlaken, Switzerland Frischknecht Martin Walter; Gruber Nicolas;
Margalef Symposium Talk given at a conference The turbulent ocean - On the impact of eddies on ocean circulation and biogeochemistry, Margalef Symposium 07.12.2017 Barcelona, Spain Gruber Nicolas;
European Geophysical Union 2017 Talk given at a conference Total and mesoscale long-range offshore transport of organic carbon from the Canary Upwelling System to the open North Atlantic 05.12.2017 Vienna, Austria Lovecchio Elisa; Gruber Nicolas;
European Geophysical Union 2017 Talk given at a conference Interannual variability of biological production and carbon export in the California Current System from 1979 to 2016 04.12.2017 Vienna, Austria Frischknecht Martin Walter; Gruber Nicolas;
IPCC Scoping Meeting for Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere Talk given at a conference Climate, carbon and ocean biogeochemistry at a time of change: Recent insights and emerging trends 12.12.2016 Monaco, Monaco Gruber Nicolas;
WCRP Grand Challenges Meeting Talk given at a conference Climate, carbon and ocean biogeochemistry at a time of change: Recent insights, emerging trends, and future outlook 12.12.2016 Hamburg, Germany Gruber Nicolas;
ETH IAC colloquium series Individual talk The turbulent ocean - On the impact of eddies on ocean circulation and biogeochemistry 10.12.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas; Byrne David;
IMBIZO IV Talk given at a conference Biogeochemical extreme events in the California Current System 10.12.2016 Trieste, Italy Byrne David; Gruber Nicolas;
CLIVAR Open Science Conference Talk given at a conference Climate, carbon and ocean biogeochemistry at a time of change: Recent insights, emerging trends, and future outlook (invited plenary talk) 09.12.2016 Qingdao, China Gruber Nicolas;
C-Cascades Summer School Talk given at a conference Ocean upwelling. A tale of two regions 08.12.2016 Peyresc, France Gruber Nicolas;
Swiss Climate Summer School Talk given at a conference Warming up, turning sour, losing breath, starving for food: How much is the ocean at risk? 08.12.2016 Grindelwald, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
IBP Congress 2016 Poster Long-range offshore transport of Organic Carbon from the Canary U.S. to the open North Atlantic 04.12.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Lovecchio Elisa; Gruber Nicolas; Lachkar Zouhair;
Swiss Global Change Day 2016 Poster Long-range offshore transport of Organic Carbon from the Canary U.S. to the open North Atlantic 04.12.2016 Bern, Switzerland Lovecchio Elisa; Gruber Nicolas;
Swiss Global Change Day 2016 Poster ENSO and the fate of coastal production in the California Current System from 1979 to 2015 04.12.2016 Bern, Switzerland Frischknecht Martin Walter; Gruber Nicolas;
Ocean Sciences Meeting 2016 Talk given at a conference On the role of mesoscale eddies in the long-range export of carbon and nutrients from the Canary Upwelling System into the open North Atlantic 02.12.2016 New Orleans, United States of America Lovecchio Elisa; Gruber Nicolas;
Ocean Sciences Meeting 2016 Talk given at a conference ENSO related Changes in Offshore Transport and Biological Productivity within the California Current System from 1979 to 2014 02.12.2016 New Orleans, United States of America Frischknecht Martin Walter; Gruber Nicolas;
26th International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) Talk given at a conference Interannual variability in the cross-shore exchange of carbon and nutrients in the California Current System 06.12.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Frischknecht Martin Walter; Gruber Nicolas;
Summer School on "Physics of the Ocean" Poster CALNEX: Quantifying the exchange of carbon and nutrients between the coastal and open seas 06.12.2015 Hamburg, Germany Byrne David; Gruber Nicolas; Frischknecht Martin Walter; Lovecchio Elisa; Lachkar Zouhair;
26th International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) Talk given at a conference Quantifying the long-range exchange of carbon and nutrients between the Canary Upwelling System and the open North Atlantic 06.12.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Lovecchio Elisa; Gruber Nicolas;
IBP Congress 2015 Poster Quantifying the long-range exchange of carbon and nutrients between the Canary Upwelling System and the North Atlantic 04.12.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Lovecchio Elisa; Gruber Nicolas; Lachkar Zouhair;
Swiss Global Change Day 2015 Poster Quantifying the long-range exchange of carbon and nutrients between the Canary Upwelling System and the North Atlantic 04.12.2015 Bern, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas; Lovecchio Elisa;
EPFL Seminar series in Environmental Sciences Individual talk The turbulent ocean - On the impact of eddies on ocean circulation and biogeochemistry 11.12.2014 Lausanne, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas; Byrne David;
IMBER Open Science Conference Talk given at a conference The differential impact of upwelling intensification on oxygen in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems 06.12.2014 Bergen, Norway Lachkar Zouhair; Gruber Nicolas;
IMBER Open Science Conference Talk given at a conference Warming up, turning sour, losing breath - the regional perspective (invited plenary talk), 06.12.2014 Bergen, Norway Gruber Nicolas; Lachkar Zouhair;
IBP Congress 2014 Poster CALNEX: Quantifying the exchange of carbon and nutrients between the coastal and open seas 04.12.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Frischknecht Martin Walter; Byrne David; Gruber Nicolas; Lachkar Zouhair; Lovecchio Elisa;
Swiss Global Change Day 2014 Poster Remote versus local influence of ENSO on the CalCS 04.12.2014 Bern, Switzerland Frischknecht Martin Walter; Gruber Nicolas;
Ocean Sciences Meeting 2014 Talk given at a conference Local versus Remote Response of the California Current System to ENSO 02.12.2014 Honolulu, United States of America Gruber Nicolas;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Der Ozean: er wird wärmer, er wird saurer,ihm stockt der Atem, Nachhaltigkeitswoche der Universitäten von Zürich Talk 03.12.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
Policy and Politics of climate change Talk 01.12.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
Future Pacific Ocean: Modeling the World’s Largest Biome, ETH meets California, Zürich/Berkeley Talk 04.12.2016 Zürich/Berkeley, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
Resilience versus resistance. Thoughts of a climate scientist: Acumen 7 Talk 04.12.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
Klimawandel: Letzte Zahlen und Fakten, Green Economy Symposium Talk 10.12.2015 Winterthur, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
El Niño, La Niña, und ihre Cousins: Wie der Ozean das globale Klima beeinflusst: Thurgauische Naturforschende Gesellschaft Talk 02.12.2015 Frauenfeld, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
Meeresversauerung: das andere CO2 Problem. BAFU, Bundesamt für Umwelt Talk 12.12.2014 Bern/Ittingen, Switzerland Lachkar Zouhair; Gruber Nicolas;
Klimawandel - das Fenster schliesst sich, Zürcher Kantonalbank Investment Event, MeinIndex Nachhaltigkeit, Talk 12.12.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;
Climate Change: A few facets, Swiss Re Talk 04.12.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Gruber Nicolas;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
184251 The influence of mesoscale variability on organic carbon export fluxes: bridging models and observations 01.01.2020 Early Postdoc.Mobility
175787 X-EBUS: Extreme Ocean Weather Events and their Role for Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems 01.09.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The coastal ocean and especially the eastern boundary upwelling systems (EBUS) represent a major uncertainty for quantifying the global carbon cycle. Although EBUS cover only about one percent of the global ocean surface area, they represent global hotspots of biogeochemical transformations, with very high rates of primary production, leading to about 10% of global export production. Despite decades of research, their role for the global-scale cycling of carbon and nutrient elements is not well known. Key reasons for the slow rate of progress are the complex physical and biogeochemical dynamics, insufficient data relative to the high degree of variability and the difficulties associated with the development of adequate modeling tools. Especially ill understood, is the interaction of the coastal ocean with the adjacent open ocean basins. This comprises on the one hand of the transport of inorganic carbon and nutrients from the open ocean toward the coast as part of the closure of the global biogeochemical loop, and on the other hand, the transport of largely organic carbon and nutrients from the coast to the open ocean, where it can fuel net heterotrophy and cause net outgassing of CO2. Such processes are not represented at all in the current generation of global Earth System Models, largely due to resolution constraints that prevent these models from simulating the coastal dynamics. Here we propose to investigate the exchange of carbon and nutrients between the EBUS and the open ocean and the net role of the EBUS on the large-scale cycling of carbon and nutrients by using two newly developed setups of the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS) - one for the Canary Current System and the Atlantic Ocean Basin, and one for the California Current System and the Pacific Ocean Basin. These setups permit us to overcome the traditional limitation associated with either regional or global/basin-scale models, as they have the required eddy-resolving resolution in the nearshore regions of the EBUS and the whole basin coverage needed to investigate the open coastal-ocean exchange processes. Using these models as well as the available observations , we will investigate the following key hypotheses: i) The coastal ocean, and especially EBUS represents an integral part of the global closure of the nutrient and carbon cycle due to intense shelf open ocean exchanges; ii) the nutrients and carbon exported laterally from the EBUS represent a substantial part of the open ocean nutrient and carbon budgets, especially in the subtropical gyres where they fuel respiration and productivity; iii) shelf-extent and eddy activity in the EBUS control the extent to which nutrients and carbon returning from the thermocline/deep ocean are retained in the nearshore region or exported to the open ocean;. By comparing the results from the two EBUS and their adjacent ocean basins, we can optimally test and evaluate these hypotheses, as these two systems differ substantially with regard to their topography, mean state, and sensitivity to perturbations. The assessment of these hypotheses will permit us to make substantial progress toward our long-term goal, i.e., the development of a parameterization of coastal ocean biogeochemical processes for global Earth System Models.
-