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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-182
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-182
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 14 Aug 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 14 Aug 2019

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

BPOP-v1 model: exploring the impact of changes in the biological pump on the shelf sea and ocean nutrient and redox state

Elisa Lovecchio and Timothy M. Lenton Elisa Lovecchio and Timothy M. Lenton
  • Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QE, United Kingdom

Abstract. The ocean’s biological pump has changed over Earth history from one dominated by prokaryotes, to one involving a mixture of prokaryotes and eukaryotes with trophic structure. Changes in the biological pump are in turn hypothesised to have caused important changes in the ocean’s nutrient and redox properties. To explore these hypotheses, we present here a new box model including oxygen (O), phosphorus (P) and a dynamical biological pump. Our Biological Pump, Oxygen and Phosphorus (BPOP) model accounts for two – small and large – organic matter species generated by production and coagulation, respectively. Export and burial of these particles are regulated by a remineralization length (zrem) scheme. We independently vary zrem of small and large particles in order to study how changes in sinking speeds and remineralization rates affect the major biogeochemical fluxes, and O and P ocean concentrations. Modelled O and P budgets and fluxes lay close to present estimates for zrem in the range of currently measured values. Our results highlight that relatively small changes in zrem of the large particles can have important impacts on the O and P ocean availability and support the idea that an early ocean dominated by small particles was nutrient rich due to inefficient removal to sediments. The results also highlight that shelf ocean anoxia can coexist with an oxygenated deep open ocean for realistic values of zrem, especially for large values of the small particle zrem. This could challenge conventional interpretations that the Proterozoic deep ocean was anoxic, which are derived from shelf and slope sediment redox data. This simple and computationally inexpensive model is a promising tool to investigate the impact of changes in the organic matter sinking and remineralization rates as well as changes in physical processes coupled to the biological pump in a variety of case studies.

Elisa Lovecchio and Timothy M. Lenton
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Status: open (until 09 Oct 2019)
Status: open (until 09 Oct 2019)
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Elisa Lovecchio and Timothy M. Lenton
Elisa Lovecchio and Timothy M. Lenton
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Short summary
We present here the newly developed BPOP box model. BPOP is aimed at studying the impact of large-scale changes in the biological pump, i.e. the cycle of production, export and remineralization of the marine organic matter, on the nutrient and oxygen concentrations in the shelf and open ocean. This model has been developed to investigate the global consequences of the evolution of larger and heavier phytoplankton cells, but can be applied to a variety of past and future case studies.
We present here the newly developed BPOP box model. BPOP is aimed at studying the impact of...
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