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Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS): fieldwork, synthesis and modelling efforts

Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS): fieldwork, synthesis and modelling efforts
Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS): fieldwork, synthesis and modelling efforts
The ocean’s biological carbon pump plays a central role in regulating atmospheric CO2 levels. In particular, the depth at which sinking organic carbon is broken down and respired in the mesopelagic zone is critical, with deeper remineralisation resulting in greater carbon storage. Until recently, however, a balanced budget of the supply and consumption of organic carbon in the mesopelagic had not been constructed in any region of the ocean, and the processes controlling organic carbon turnover are still poorly understood. Large-scale data syntheses suggest that a wide range of factors can influence remineralisation depth including upper-ocean ecological interactions, and interior dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature. However these analyses do not provide a mechanistic understanding of remineralisation, which increases the challenge of appropriately modelling the mesopelagic carbon dynamics. In light of this, the UK Natural Environment Research Council has funded a programme with this mechanistic understanding as its aim, drawing targeted fieldwork right through to implementation of a new parameterisation for mesopelagic remineralisation within an IPCC class global biogeochemical model. The Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS) programme will deliver new insights into the processes of carbon cycling in the mesopelagic zone and how these influence ocean carbon storage. Here we outline the programme’s rationale, its goals, planned fieldwork and modelling activities, with the aim of stimulating international collaboration.
biological carbon pump, field campaign, Science plan, ocean carbon cycle, Biogeochemical model
136
Sanders, R.
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Henson, S.A.
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Martin, A.P.
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Anderson, T.R.
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Bernardello, R.
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Enderlein, P.
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Fielding, S.
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Giering, S.
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Hartmann, M.
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Iverson, M.
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Khatiwala, S.
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Lam, Phyllis
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Mayor, D.J.
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Moore, C.M.
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Murphy, E.
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Painter, S.C.
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Poulton, A.J.
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Saw, K.
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Stowasser, G.
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Tarling, G.A.
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Torres-Valdes, S.
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Trimmer, M.
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Wolff, G.A.
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Yool, A.
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Sanders, R.
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Henson, S.A.
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Martin, A.P.
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Anderson, T.R.
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Bernardello, R.
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Enderlein, P.
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Fielding, S.
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Giering, S.
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Hartmann, M.
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Iverson, M.
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Khatiwala, S.
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Lam, Phyllis
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Mayor, D.J.
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Moore, C.M.
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Murphy, E.
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Painter, S.C.
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Poulton, A.J.
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Saw, K.
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Stowasser, G.
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Tarling, G.A.
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Torres-Valdes, S.
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Trimmer, M.
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Wolff, G.A.
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Yool, A.
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017

Sanders, R., Henson, S.A., Martin, A.P., Anderson, T.R., Bernardello, R., Enderlein, P., Fielding, S., Giering, S., Hartmann, M., Iverson, M., Khatiwala, S., Lam, Phyllis, Mayor, D.J., Moore, C.M., Murphy, E., Painter, S.C., Poulton, A.J., Saw, K., Stowasser, G., Tarling, G.A., Torres-Valdes, S., Trimmer, M., Wolff, G.A. and Yool, A. (2016) Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS): fieldwork, synthesis and modelling efforts. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3, 136. (doi:10.3389/fmars.2016.00136).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The ocean’s biological carbon pump plays a central role in regulating atmospheric CO2 levels. In particular, the depth at which sinking organic carbon is broken down and respired in the mesopelagic zone is critical, with deeper remineralisation resulting in greater carbon storage. Until recently, however, a balanced budget of the supply and consumption of organic carbon in the mesopelagic had not been constructed in any region of the ocean, and the processes controlling organic carbon turnover are still poorly understood. Large-scale data syntheses suggest that a wide range of factors can influence remineralisation depth including upper-ocean ecological interactions, and interior dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature. However these analyses do not provide a mechanistic understanding of remineralisation, which increases the challenge of appropriately modelling the mesopelagic carbon dynamics. In light of this, the UK Natural Environment Research Council has funded a programme with this mechanistic understanding as its aim, drawing targeted fieldwork right through to implementation of a new parameterisation for mesopelagic remineralisation within an IPCC class global biogeochemical model. The Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS) programme will deliver new insights into the processes of carbon cycling in the mesopelagic zone and how these influence ocean carbon storage. Here we outline the programme’s rationale, its goals, planned fieldwork and modelling activities, with the aim of stimulating international collaboration.

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More information

Submitted date: 1 June 2016
Accepted/In Press date: 25 July 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 August 2016
Published date: 5 August 2016
Keywords: biological carbon pump, field campaign, Science plan, ocean carbon cycle, Biogeochemical model
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling, Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 396439
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/396439
PURE UUID: ef987893-16e6-44da-930a-03c08411669b
ORCID for Phyllis Lam: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2067-171X
ORCID for C.M. Moore: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9541-6046

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jun 2016 10:38
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 05:00

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Contributors

Author: R. Sanders
Author: S.A. Henson
Author: A.P. Martin
Author: T.R. Anderson
Author: R. Bernardello
Author: P. Enderlein
Author: S. Fielding
Author: S. Giering
Author: M. Hartmann
Author: M. Iverson
Author: S. Khatiwala
Author: Phyllis Lam ORCID iD
Author: D.J. Mayor
Author: C.M. Moore ORCID iD
Author: E. Murphy
Author: S.C. Painter
Author: A.J. Poulton
Author: K. Saw
Author: G. Stowasser
Author: G.A. Tarling
Author: S. Torres-Valdes
Author: M. Trimmer
Author: G.A. Wolff
Author: A. Yool

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