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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-187
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-187
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 23 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Modulation of the North Atlantic Deoxygenation by The Slowdown of the Nutrient Stream

Filippos Tagklis, Takamitsu Ito, and Annalisa Bracco Filippos Tagklis et al.
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Abstract. Western boundary currents act as transport pathways for nutrient-rich waters from low to high latitudes (nutrient streams) and are responsible for maintaining mid- and high-latitude productivity in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. This study investigates the centennial oxygen (O2) and nutrient changes over the Northern Hemisphere in the context of the projected warming and general weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) in a subset of Earth System Models included in the CMIP5 catalogue. In all models examined, the Atlantic warms faster than the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a greater basin-scale solubility decrease. However, this thermodynamic tendency is compensated by the changes in the biologically-driven O2 consumption which dominates the overall O2 budget. These changes are linked to the slow-down of the nutrient stream in this basin, in response to the AMOC weakening. The North Atlantic resists the warming-induced deoxygenation due to the weakened biological carbon export and remineralization, leading to higher O2 levels. On the contrary, the projected nutrient stream and macro-nutrient inventory in the North Pacific remain nearly unchanged.

Filippos Tagklis et al.
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Filippos Tagklis et al.
Filippos Tagklis et al.
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Latest update: 20 Oct 2019
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Short summary
Deoxygenation of the oceans is potentially one of the most severe ecosystem stressors resulting from global warming given the high sensitivity of dissolved oxygen to ocean temperatures. Climate models suggests that despite the thermodynamic tendency of the oceans to lose oxygen, certain regions experience significant changes in the biologically-driven O2 consumption resulting to a resisting behavior against deoxygenation. Overturning circulation changes are responsible for such a behavior.
Deoxygenation of the oceans is potentially one of the most severe ecosystem stressors resulting...
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