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Revisiting "nutrient trapping" in global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models
SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
2013 (English)In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, ISSN 0886-6236, Vol. 27, no 2, 265-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We analyze an extensive set of global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models. The focus is on the equatorial Pacific. In all simulations, which are consistent with observed standing stocks of relevant biogeochemical species at the surface, we find spuriously enhanced (reduced) macronutrient (oxygen) concentrations in the deep eastern equatorial Pacific. This modeling problem, apparently endemic to global coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation models, was coined " nutrient trapping" by Najjar et al. (1992). In contrast to Aumont et al. (1999), we argue that " nutrient trapping" is still a persistent problem, even in eddy-permitting models and, further, that the scale of the problem retards model projections of nitrogen cycling. In line with previous work, our results indicate that a deficient circulation is at the core of the problem rather than an admittedly poor quantitative understanding of biogeochemical cycles. More specifically, we present indications that " nutrient trapping" in models is a result of a spuriously damped Equatorial Intermediate (zonal) Current System and Equatorial Deep Jets-phenomenon which await a comprehensive understanding and have, to date, not been successfully simulated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 27, no 2, 265-284 p.
Keyword [en]
biogeochemical modeling, ocean circulation, nutrient trapping, equatorial Pacific
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Oceanography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-381DOI: 10.1002/gbc.20029ISI: 000322236000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-381DiVA: diva2:801750
Available from: 2015-04-10 Created: 2015-03-31 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Löptien, Ulrike
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Citation style
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