Simulating stable carbon isotopes in the ocean component of the FAMOUS general circulation model with MOSES1 (XOAVI)

Type Article
Date 2020-08
Language English
Author(s) Dentith Jennifer E.1, Ivanovic Ruza F.1, Gregoire Lauren J.1, Tindall Julia C.1, Robinson Laura F.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Leeds, Sch Earth & Environm, Leeds LS2 9JT, W Yorkshire, England.
2 : Univ Bristol, Sch Earth Sci, Bristol BS8 1RJ, Avon, England.
Source Geoscientific Model Development (1991-959X) (Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh), 2020-08 , Vol. 13 , N. 8 , P. 3529-3552
DOI 10.5194/gmd-13-3529-2020
WOS© Times Cited 2
Note Special issue | The FAMOUS climate model Editor(s): GMD topical editors | Coordinator: R. S. Smith

Ocean circulation and the marine carbon cycle can be indirectly inferred from stable and radiogenic carbon isotope ratios (delta C-13 and Delta C-14, respectively), measured directly in the water column, or recorded in geological archives such as sedimentary microfossils and corals. However, interpreting these records is non-trivial because they reflect a complex interplay between physical and biogeochemical processes. By directly simulating multiple isotopic tracer fields within numerical models, we can improve our understanding of the processes that control large-scale isotope distributions and interpolate the spatiotemporal gaps in both modern and palaeo datasets. We have added the stable isotope C-13 to the ocean component of the FAMOUS coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, which is a valuable tool for simulating complex feedbacks between different Earth system processes on decadal to multi-millennial timescales. We tested three different biological fractionation parameterisations to account for the uncertainty associated with equilibrium fractionation during photosynthesis and used sensitivity experiments to quantify the effects of fractionation during air-sea gas exchange and primary productivity on the simulated delta C-13(DIC) distributions. Following a 10 000-year pre-industrial spin-up, we simulated the Suess effect (the isotopic imprint of anthropogenic fossil fuel burning) to assess the performance of the model in replicating modern observations. Our implementation captures the large-scale structure and range of delta C-13(DIC) observations in the surface ocean, but the simulated values are too high at all depths, which we infer is due to biases in the biological pump. In the first instance, the new C-13 tracer will therefore be useful for recalibrating both the physical and biogeochemical components of FAMOUS.

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Dentith Jennifer E., Ivanovic Ruza F., Gregoire Lauren J., Tindall Julia C., Robinson Laura F. (2020). Simulating stable carbon isotopes in the ocean component of the FAMOUS general circulation model with MOSES1 (XOAVI). Geoscientific Model Development, 13(8), 3529-3552. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :