Project

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Modeling nitrogen-carbon-climate interactions in a high-CO2 world

Applicant Frölicher Thomas
Number 131559
Funding scheme Fellowships for prospective researchers
Research institution
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Oceanography
Start/End 01.09.2010 - 31.08.2011
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Oceanography
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy

Keywords (2)

cean biogeochemistry; carbon cycle

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Anthropogenic carbon emissions force atmospheric CO2 far above the natural range of the last million years and cause rapidly progressing global warming. Nitrogen is a key factor in controlling the strength of the marine biological carbon pump and therefore marine nitrogen - carbon interactions impact atmospheric CO2 and climate. However, underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood.The marine nitrogen cycle may be altered more than any other nutrient biogeochemical cycle in response to rising pCO2, ocean acidification and climate change. Current observational-evidence suggests that marine nitrogen fixation, denitrification and carbon-to-nitrogen drawdown are increasing, while nitrification is expected to decrease in a future high-CO2 world, possibly tipping the nitrogen cycle into a new steady state.The aim of the project is to assess future interactions and feedbacks between the marine nitrogen cycle, the marine carbon cycle, and the climate. Climate scenario simulations over the industrial period and over the next centuries will be performed with a state-of-the-art carbon cycle-climate model including a dynamic marine ecosystem model. The sensitivity of the marine carbon and nitrogen cycle to pCO2-dependent nitrogen cycle processes and their influence on air-sea CO2 fluxes, atmospheric CO2 and climate change will be quantified in a self-consistent, 3-dimensional dynamical setting.The Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences Program at the Princeton University headed by Prof. Dr. Sarmiento, offers me the unique environment to successfully perform this research project and to interact and further learn from leading researchers in the field of climate change and ocean biogeochemistry.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Impact of climate change mitigation on ocean acidification projections
Joos Fortunat, Frölicher Thomas, Steinacher Marco, Gian-Kasper Plattner (2011), Impact of climate change mitigation on ocean acidification projections, in Gattuso and Hansson (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 00-00.
Regional impacts of climate change and atmospheric CO2 on future ocean carbon uptake: A multi-model linear feedback analysis
Roy Tilla, Bopp Laurent, Gehlen Marion, Schneider Birgitt, Cadule Patricia, Frölicher Thomas, Segschneider Jochen, Tijputra Jerry, Heinze Christoph, Joos Fortunat (2011), Regional impacts of climate change and atmospheric CO2 on future ocean carbon uptake: A multi-model linear feedback analysis, in Journal of Climate, 24, 2300-2318.
Sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 and climate to explosive volcanic eruptions
Frölicher Thomas, Joos Fortunat, Raible Christoph (2011), Sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 and climate to explosive volcanic eruptions, in Biogeosciences, 8, 2317-2339.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
EUR-OCEANS Conference - Ocean deoxygenation and implications for marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems Poster Predicting the impact of global warming on oxygen minimum zones and the global extent of anoxia in the world ocean 24.10.2011 Toulouse, France, France Frölicher Thomas;
Annual Southern Ocean NOAA CPT Meeting Individual talk ... 27.06.2011 Princeton, United States of America Frölicher Thomas;
Carbon Mitigation Initiative Annual Meeting Poster The role of the Southern Ocean in climate and the carbon cycle 12.04.2011 Princeton, United States of America Frölicher Thomas;
AGU Fall Meeting 2010 Poster Reversible and irreversible impacts of greenhouse gas emissions in multi-century projections with the NCAR global coupled carbon cycle-climate model 13.12.2010 San Francisco, USA, United States of America Frölicher Thomas;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
142573 Anthropogenic carbon and heat uptake by the Southern Ocean 01.05.2013 Ambizione

Abstract

Anthropogenic carbon emissions force atmospheric CO2 far above the natural range of the last million years and cause rapidly progressing global warming. Nitrogen is a key factor in controlling the strength of the marine biological carbon pump and therefore marine nitrogen - carbon interactions impact atmospheric CO2 and climate. However, underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. The marine nitrogen cycle may be altered more than any other nutrient biogeochemical cycle in response to rising pCO2, ocean acidification and climate change. Current observational-evidence suggests that marine nitrogen fixation, denitrification and carbon-to-nitrogen drawdown are increasing, while nitrification is expected to decrease in a future high-CO2 world, possibly tipping the nitrogen cycle into a new steady state. The aim of the project is to assess future interactions and feedbacks between the marine nitrogen cycle, the marine carbon cycle, and the climate. Climate scenario simulations over the industrial period and over the next centuries will be performed with a state-of-the-art carbon cycle-climate model including a dynamic marine ecosystem model. The sensitivity of the marine carbon and nitrogen cycle to pCO2-dependent nitrogen cycle processes and their influence on air-sea CO2 fluxes, atmospheric CO2 and climate change will be quantified in a self-consistent, 3-dimensional dynamical setting. The Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences Program at the Princeton University headed by Prof. Dr. Sarmiento, offers me the unique environment to successfully perform this research project and to interact and further learn from leading researchers in the field of climate change and ocean biogeochemistry.
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