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  • European Marine Science
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Ward, Ben A.; Wilson, Jamie D.; Death, Ros M.; Monteiro, Fanny M.; +2 Authors

    We present an extension to the carbon-centric Grid Enabled Integrated Earth system model (cGEnIE) that explicitly accounts for the growth and interaction of an arbitrary number of plankton species. The new package (ECOGEM) replaces the implicit, flux-based parameterisation of the plankton community currently employed, with explicitly resolved plankton populations and ecological dynamics. In ECOGEM, any number of plankton species, with ecophysiological traits (e.g. growth and grazing rates) assigned according to organism size and functional group (e.g. phytoplankton and zooplankton) can be incorporated at runtime. We illustrate the capability of the marine ecology enabled Earth system model (EcoGEnIE) by comparing results from one configuration of ECOGEM (with eight generic phytoplankton and zooplankton size classes) to climatological and seasonal observations. We find that the new ecological components of the model show reasonable agreement with both global-scale climatological and local-scale seasonal data. We also compare EcoGEnIE results to the existing biogeochemical incarnation of cGEnIE. We find that the resulting global-scale distributions of phosphate, iron, dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, and oxygen are similar for both iterations of the model. A slight deterioration in some fields in EcoGEnIE (relative to the data) is observed, although we make no attempt to re-tune the overall marine cycling of carbon and nutrients here. The increased capabilities of EcoGEnIE in this regard will enable future exploration of the ecological community on much longer timescales than have previously been examined in global ocean ecosystem models and particularly for past climates and global biogeochemical cycles.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Geoscientific Model ...arrow_drop_down
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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Geoscientific Model ...arrow_drop_down
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Wilson, Jamie D.; Barker, Stephen; Edwards, Neil R.; Holden, Philip B.; +1 Authors

    The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is sensitive to changes in the depth at which sinking particulate organic matter is remineralized: often described as a change in the exponent “b” of the Martin curve. Sediment trap observations from deep and intermediate depths suggest there is a spatially heterogeneous pattern of b, particularly varying with latitude, but disagree over the exact spatial patterns. Here we use a biogeochemical model of the phosphorus cycle coupled with a steady-state representation of ocean circulation to explore the sensitivity of preformed phosphate and atmospheric CO2 to spatial variability in remineralization depths. A Latin hypercube sampling method is used to simultaneously vary the Martin curve independently within 15 different regions, as a basis for a regression-based analysis used to derive a quantitative measure of sensitivity. Approximately 30 % of the sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 to changes in remineralization depths is driven by changes in the subantarctic region (36 to 60∘ S) similar in magnitude to the Pacific basin despite the much smaller area and lower export production. Overall, the absolute magnitude of sensitivity is controlled by export production, but the relative spatial patterns in sensitivity are predominantly constrained by ocean circulation pathways. The high sensitivity in the subantarctic regions is driven by a combination of high export production and the high connectivity of these regions to regions important for the export of preformed nutrients such as the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic. Overall, regionally varying remineralization depths contribute to variability in CO2 of between around 5 and 15 ppm, relative to a global mean change in remineralization depth. Future changes in the environmental and ecological drivers of remineralization, such as temperature and ocean acidification, are expected to be most significant in the high latitudes where CO2 sensitivity to remineralization is also highest. The importance of ocean circulation pathways to the high sensitivity in subantarctic regions also has significance for past climates given the importance of circulation changes in the Southern Ocean.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Biogeosciences (BG)arrow_drop_down
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    Authors: Davies-Barnard, Taraka; Ridgwell, Andy; Singarayer, Joy; Valdes, Paul;

    The terrestrial biosphere is thought to be a key component in the climatic variability seen in the palaeo-record. It has a direct impact on surface temperature through changes in surface albedo and evapotranspiration (so-called biogeophysical effects) and, in addition, has an important indirect effect through changes in vegetation and soil carbon storage (biogeochemical effects) and hence modulates the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The biogeochemical and biogeophysical effects generally have opposite signs, meaning that the terrestrial biosphere could potentially have played only a very minor role in the dynamics of the glacial–interglacial cycles of the late Quaternary. Here we use a fully coupled dynamic atmosphere–ocean–vegetation general circulation model (GCM) to generate a set of 62 equilibrium simulations spanning the last 120 kyr. The analysis of these simulations elucidates the relative importance of the biogeophysical versus biogeochemical terrestrial biosphere interactions with climate. We find that the biogeophysical effects of vegetation account for up to an additional −0.91 °C global mean cooling, with regional cooling as large as −5 °C, but with considerable variability across the glacial–interglacial cycle. By comparison, while opposite in sign, our model estimates of the biogeochemical impacts are substantially smaller in magnitude. Offline simulations show a maximum of +0.33 °C warming due to an increase of 25 ppm above our (pre-industrial) baseline atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio. In contrast to shorter (century) timescale projections of future terrestrial biosphere response where direct and indirect responses may at times cancel out, we find that the biogeophysical effects consistently and strongly dominate the biogeochemical effect over the inter-glacial cycle. On average across the period, the terrestrial biosphere has a −0.26 °C effect on temperature, with −0.58 °C at the Last Glacial Maximum. Depending on assumptions made about the destination of terrestrial carbon under ice sheets and where sea level has changed, the average terrestrial biosphere contribution over the last 120 kyr could be as much as −50 °C and −0.83 °C at the Last Glacial Maximum.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Climate of the Past ...arrow_drop_down
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Schmidt, Daniela N; Thomas, Ellen; Authier, Elisabeth; Saunders, David; +1 Authors

    Climate change is predicted to alter temperature, carbonate chemistry, and oxygen availability in the oceans, which will affect individuals, populations and ecosystems. We use the fossil record of benthic foraminifers to assess developmental impacts in response to environmental changes during the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Using an unprecedented number of µ-Computer Tomography scans, we determine size of the proloculus (first chamber), number of chambers, and final size of two benthic foraminiferal species which survived the extinction at Sites 690 (Atlantic sector, Southern Ocean, paleodepth 1900m), 1210 (central equatorial Pacific, paleodepth 2100m), and 1135 (Indian Ocean sector, Southern Ocean, 600-1000m). The population at shallowest Site 1135 does not show a clear response to the PETM, whereas those at the other sites record reductions in diameter or proloculus size. Temperature was similar at all sites, thus not likely the reason for differences between sites. At Site 1210, small size coincided with higher chamber numbers during the peak event, and may have been caused by a combination of low carbonate ion concentrations and low food supply. Dwarfing at Site 690 occurred at lower chamber numbers, and may have been caused by decreasing carbonate saturation at sufficient food levels to reproduce. Proloculus size varied strongly between sites and through time, suggesting a large influence of environment on both microspheric and megalospheric forms without clear bimodality. The effect of the environmental changes during the PETM was more pronounced at deeper sites, possibly implicating carbonate saturation.

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    Authors: Lu, Wanyi; Ridgwell, Andy; Thomas, Ellen; Hardisty, Dalton; +17 Authors

    Rising oceanic and atmospheric oxygen levels through time have been crucial to enhanced habitability of surface Earth environments. Few redox proxies can track secular variations in dissolved oxygen concentrations ([O~2~]) around threshold levels for metazoan survival in the upper ocean. We present an extensive compilation of iodine to calcium ratios (I/Ca) in marine carbonates. Our record supports a major rise in atmospheric _p_O~2~ at ~400 million years ago (Ma), and reveals a step-change in the oxygenation of the upper ocean to relatively sustainable near-modern conditions at ~200 Ma. An Earth system model demonstrates that a shift in organic matter remineralization to greater depths, which may have been due to increasing size and biomineralization of eukaryotic plankton, likely drove the I/Ca signals at ~200 Ma.

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5 Research products
  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Ward, Ben A.; Wilson, Jamie D.; Death, Ros M.; Monteiro, Fanny M.; +2 Authors

    We present an extension to the carbon-centric Grid Enabled Integrated Earth system model (cGEnIE) that explicitly accounts for the growth and interaction of an arbitrary number of plankton species. The new package (ECOGEM) replaces the implicit, flux-based parameterisation of the plankton community currently employed, with explicitly resolved plankton populations and ecological dynamics. In ECOGEM, any number of plankton species, with ecophysiological traits (e.g. growth and grazing rates) assigned according to organism size and functional group (e.g. phytoplankton and zooplankton) can be incorporated at runtime. We illustrate the capability of the marine ecology enabled Earth system model (EcoGEnIE) by comparing results from one configuration of ECOGEM (with eight generic phytoplankton and zooplankton size classes) to climatological and seasonal observations. We find that the new ecological components of the model show reasonable agreement with both global-scale climatological and local-scale seasonal data. We also compare EcoGEnIE results to the existing biogeochemical incarnation of cGEnIE. We find that the resulting global-scale distributions of phosphate, iron, dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, and oxygen are similar for both iterations of the model. A slight deterioration in some fields in EcoGEnIE (relative to the data) is observed, although we make no attempt to re-tune the overall marine cycling of carbon and nutrients here. The increased capabilities of EcoGEnIE in this regard will enable future exploration of the ecological community on much longer timescales than have previously been examined in global ocean ecosystem models and particularly for past climates and global biogeochemical cycles.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Geoscientific Model ...arrow_drop_down
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    Authors: Wilson, Jamie D.; Barker, Stephen; Edwards, Neil R.; Holden, Philip B.; +1 Authors

    The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is sensitive to changes in the depth at which sinking particulate organic matter is remineralized: often described as a change in the exponent “b” of the Martin curve. Sediment trap observations from deep and intermediate depths suggest there is a spatially heterogeneous pattern of b, particularly varying with latitude, but disagree over the exact spatial patterns. Here we use a biogeochemical model of the phosphorus cycle coupled with a steady-state representation of ocean circulation to explore the sensitivity of preformed phosphate and atmospheric CO2 to spatial variability in remineralization depths. A Latin hypercube sampling method is used to simultaneously vary the Martin curve independently within 15 different regions, as a basis for a regression-based analysis used to derive a quantitative measure of sensitivity. Approximately 30 % of the sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 to changes in remineralization depths is driven by changes in the subantarctic region (36 to 60∘ S) similar in magnitude to the Pacific basin despite the much smaller area and lower export production. Overall, the absolute magnitude of sensitivity is controlled by export production, but the relative spatial patterns in sensitivity are predominantly constrained by ocean circulation pathways. The high sensitivity in the subantarctic regions is driven by a combination of high export production and the high connectivity of these regions to regions important for the export of preformed nutrients such as the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic. Overall, regionally varying remineralization depths contribute to variability in CO2 of between around 5 and 15 ppm, relative to a global mean change in remineralization depth. Future changes in the environmental and ecological drivers of remineralization, such as temperature and ocean acidification, are expected to be most significant in the high latitudes where CO2 sensitivity to remineralization is also highest. The importance of ocean circulation pathways to the high sensitivity in subantarctic regions also has significance for past climates given the importance of circulation changes in the Southern Ocean.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Biogeosciences (BG)arrow_drop_down
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    Authors: Davies-Barnard, Taraka; Ridgwell, Andy; Singarayer, Joy; Valdes, Paul;

    The terrestrial biosphere is thought to be a key component in the climatic variability seen in the palaeo-record. It has a direct impact on surface temperature through changes in surface albedo and evapotranspiration (so-called biogeophysical effects) and, in addition, has an important indirect effect through changes in vegetation and soil carbon storage (biogeochemical effects) and hence modulates the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The biogeochemical and biogeophysical effects generally have opposite signs, meaning that the terrestrial biosphere could potentially have played only a very minor role in the dynamics of the glacial–interglacial cycles of the late Quaternary. Here we use a fully coupled dynamic atmosphere–ocean–vegetation general circulation model (GCM) to generate a set of 62 equilibrium simulations spanning the last 120 kyr. The analysis of these simulations elucidates the relative importance of the biogeophysical versus biogeochemical terrestrial biosphere interactions with climate. We find that the biogeophysical effects of vegetation account for up to an additional −0.91 °C global mean cooling, with regional cooling as large as −5 °C, but with considerable variability across the glacial–interglacial cycle. By comparison, while opposite in sign, our model estimates of the biogeochemical impacts are substantially smaller in magnitude. Offline simulations show a maximum of +0.33 °C warming due to an increase of 25 ppm above our (pre-industrial) baseline atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio. In contrast to shorter (century) timescale projections of future terrestrial biosphere response where direct and indirect responses may at times cancel out, we find that the biogeophysical effects consistently and strongly dominate the biogeochemical effect over the inter-glacial cycle. On average across the period, the terrestrial biosphere has a −0.26 °C effect on temperature, with −0.58 °C at the Last Glacial Maximum. Depending on assumptions made about the destination of terrestrial carbon under ice sheets and where sea level has changed, the average terrestrial biosphere contribution over the last 120 kyr could be as much as −50 °C and −0.83 °C at the Last Glacial Maximum.

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    Authors: Schmidt, Daniela N; Thomas, Ellen; Authier, Elisabeth; Saunders, David; +1 Authors

    Climate change is predicted to alter temperature, carbonate chemistry, and oxygen availability in the oceans, which will affect individuals, populations and ecosystems. We use the fossil record of benthic foraminifers to assess developmental impacts in response to environmental changes during the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Using an unprecedented number of µ-Computer Tomography scans, we determine size of the proloculus (first chamber), number of chambers, and final size of two benthic foraminiferal species which survived the extinction at Sites 690 (Atlantic sector, Southern Ocean, paleodepth 1900m), 1210 (central equatorial Pacific, paleodepth 2100m), and 1135 (Indian Ocean sector, Southern Ocean, 600-1000m). The population at shallowest Site 1135 does not show a clear response to the PETM, whereas those at the other sites record reductions in diameter or proloculus size. Temperature was similar at all sites, thus not likely the reason for differences between sites. At Site 1210, small size coincided with higher chamber numbers during the peak event, and may have been caused by a combination of low carbonate ion concentrations and low food supply. Dwarfing at Site 690 occurred at lower chamber numbers, and may have been caused by decreasing carbonate saturation at sufficient food levels to reproduce. Proloculus size varied strongly between sites and through time, suggesting a large influence of environment on both microspheric and megalospheric forms without clear bimodality. The effect of the environmental changes during the PETM was more pronounced at deeper sites, possibly implicating carbonate saturation.

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    Authors: Lu, Wanyi; Ridgwell, Andy; Thomas, Ellen; Hardisty, Dalton; +17 Authors

    Rising oceanic and atmospheric oxygen levels through time have been crucial to enhanced habitability of surface Earth environments. Few redox proxies can track secular variations in dissolved oxygen concentrations ([O~2~]) around threshold levels for metazoan survival in the upper ocean. We present an extensive compilation of iodine to calcium ratios (I/Ca) in marine carbonates. Our record supports a major rise in atmospheric _p_O~2~ at ~400 million years ago (Ma), and reveals a step-change in the oxygenation of the upper ocean to relatively sustainable near-modern conditions at ~200 Ma. An Earth system model demonstrates that a shift in organic matter remineralization to greater depths, which may have been due to increasing size and biomineralization of eukaryotic plankton, likely drove the I/Ca signals at ~200 Ma.

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