Ocean Sci. Discuss., 7, 1977-2012, 2010
www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/7/1977/2010/
doi:10.5194/osd-7-1977-2010
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in OS.
Sensitivity analysis of an Ocean Carbon Cycle Model in the North Atlantic: an investigation of parameters affecting the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production and export of detritus
V. Scott1, H. Kettle2, and C. J. Merchant1
1School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, UK
2Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK

Abstract. The sensitivity of the biological parameters in a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) model in the calculation of the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production and detrital export is analysed. The NPZD model is the Hadley Centre Ocean Carbon Cycle model (HadOCC) from the UK Met Office, used in the Hadley Centre Coupled Model 3 (HadCM3) and FAst Met Office and Universities Simulator (FAMOUS) GCMs. Here, HadOCC is coupled to the 1-D General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM) and forced with European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting meteorology to undertake a sensitivity analysis of its twenty biological parameters. Analyses are performed at three sites in the EuroSITES European Ocean Observatory Network: the Central Irminger Sea (60° N 40° W), the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (49° N 16° W) and the European Station for Time series in the Ocean Canary Islands (29° N 15° W) to assess variability in parameter sensitivities at different locations in the North Atlantic Ocean. Reasonable changes to the values of key parameters are shown to have a large effect on the calculation of the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production, and export of biological detritus to the deep ocean. Changes in the values of key parameters have a greater effect in more productive regions than in less productive areas. We perform the analysis using one-at-a-time perturbations and using a statistical emulator, and compare results. The most sensitive parameters are generic to many NPZD ocean ecosystem models. The air-sea CO2 flux is most influenced by variation in the parameters that control phytoplankton growth, detrital sinking and carbonate production by phytoplankton (the rain ratio). Primary production is most sensitive to the parameters that define the shape of the photosythesis-irradiance curve. Export production is most sensitive to the parameters that control the rate of detrital sinking and the remineralisation of detritus.

Citation: Scott, V., Kettle, H., and Merchant, C. J.: Sensitivity analysis of an Ocean Carbon Cycle Model in the North Atlantic: an investigation of parameters affecting the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production and export of detritus, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 7, 1977-2012, doi:10.5194/osd-7-1977-2010, 2010.
 
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