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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-2019-250
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-250
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: development and technical paper 07 Jan 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 07 Jan 2020

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

Simulating stable carbon isotopes in the ocean component of the FAMOUS General Circulation Model with MOSES1 (XOAVI)

Jennifer E. Dentith1, Ruza F. Ivanovic1, Lauren J. Gregoire1, Julia C. Tindall1, and Laura F. Robinson2 Jennifer E. Dentith et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 2School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK

Abstract. Isotopic ratios are often utilised as proxies for ocean circulation and the marine carbon cycle. However, interpreting these records is non-trivial because they reflect a complex interplay between physical and biogeochemical processes. By directly simulating multiple isotopic tracer fields within numerical models, we can improve our understanding of the processes that control large-scale isotope distributions and interpolate the spatiotemporal gaps in both modern and palaeo datasets. We have added the stable isotope 13C to the ocean component of the FAMOUS coupled atmosphere-ocean General Circulation Model, which is a valuable tool for simulating complex feedbacks between different Earth System processes on decadal to multi-millennial timescales. We tested three different biological fractionation parameterisations to account for the uncertainty associated with equilibrium fractionation during photosynthesis and used sensitivity experiments to quantify the effects of fractionation during air-sea gas exchange and primary productivity on the simulated δ13CDIC distributions. Following a 10,000 year pre-industrial spin-up, we simulated the Suess effect (the isotopic imprint of anthropogenic fossil fuel burning) to assess the performance of the model in replicating modern observations. Our implementation captures the large-scale structure and range of δ13CDIC observations in the surface ocean, but the simulated values are too high at all depths, which we infer is due to biases in the biological pump. In the first instance, the new 13C tracer will therefore be useful for recalibrating both the physical and biogeochemical components of FAMOUS.

Jennifer E. Dentith et al.
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Jennifer E. Dentith et al.
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Supplementary material for the thesis “Modelling carbon isotopes to examine ocean circulation and the marine carbon cycle” J. E. Dentith https://doi.org/10.5518/621

Model code and software

Supplementary material for the thesis “Modelling carbon isotopes to examine ocean circulation and the marine carbon cycle” J. E. Dentith https://doi.org/10.5518/621

Jennifer E. Dentith et al.
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Short summary
We have added a new tracer (13C) into the ocean of the FAMOUS climate model to study large-scale circulation and the marine carbon cycle. The model captures the large-scale spatial pattern of observations but the simulated values are consistently higher than observed. In the first instance, our new tracer is therefore useful for recalibrating the physical and biogeochemical components of the model.
We have added a new tracer (13C) into the ocean of the FAMOUS climate model to study large-scale...
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