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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 18 Jul 2018

Model description paper | 18 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

The [simple carbon project] model v1.0

Cameron O'Neill, Andrew McC. Hogg, Michael Ellwood, Stephen Eggins, and Bradley Opdyke Cameron O'Neill et al.
  • Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

Abstract. We construct a carbon cycle box model to process observed or inferred geochemical evidence from modern and paleo settings. The [simple carbon project] model v1.0 ("SCP-M") combines a modern understanding of the ocean circulation regime with the earth's carbon cycle. SCP-M estimates the concentrations of a range of elements within the carbon cycle for use in paleo reconstructions or future projections, by simulating ocean circulation, biological, chemical and atmospheric and terrestrial carbon cycle processes. In this paper we demonstrate the model's application primarily with analysis of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to Holocene carbon cycle transition, and also with the modern carbon cycle under the influence of anthropogenic emissions. The model is shown to be capable of reproducing both paleo and modern observations, and aligns with CMIP5 model projections. We conduct an atmospheric and ocean multi-proxy data-model parameter optimisation for the LGM and late Holocene periods, using the growing pool of published paleo atmosphere and ocean data for CO2, δ13C, Δ14C and carbonate ion proxy. The results provide strong evidence for an ocean-wide physical mechanism to deliver the LGM to Holocene carbon cycle transition. Alongside ancillary changes in ocean temperature, volume, salinity, sea ice cover and atmospheric radiocarbon production rate, changes in global overturning circulation, and, to a lesser extent Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, can drive the observed LGM and late Holocene signals in atmospheric CO2, δ13C, Δ14C, and the oceanic distribution of δ13C, Δ14C and carbonate ion proxy. Further work is needed on analysis and processing of ocean proxy data to improve confidence in these modelling results, but this preliminary use of SCP-M suggests that a solution to the LGM-Holocene dilemma is close at hand.

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Cameron O'Neill et al.
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Cameron O'Neill et al.
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[simple carbon project] model v1.0 C. M. O'Neill, A. McC. Hogg, Andrew, M. J. Ellwood, B. N. Opdyke, and S. M. Eggins

Cameron O'Neill et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The [simple carbon project] model v1.0 ("SCP-M") was constructed for simulations of the paleo- and modern carbon cycle. In this paper we show its application to the carbon cycle transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene period. Our model-data experiment uses SCP-M's fast run time to nimbly cover a large range of possible inputs. The results highlight the role of varying the strength of ocean circulation to account for large fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 across the two periods.
The [simple carbon project] model v1.0 ("SCP-M") was constructed for simulations of the paleo-...