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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-27
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-27
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Apr 2020

27 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

An explicit estimate of the atmospheric nutrient impact on global oceanic productivity

Stelios Myriokefalitakis1, Matthias Gröger2, Jenny Hieronymus3, and Ralf Döscher3 Stelios Myriokefalitakis et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD), National Observatory of Athens, Penteli, Greece
  • 2Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW), Rostock, Germany
  • 3Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Norrköping, Sweden

Abstract. State-of-the-art global nutrient deposition fields are here coupled to the biogeochemistry model PISCES to investigate the effect on ocean biogeochemistry in the context of atmospheric forcings for preindustrial, present, and future periods. Present-day atmospheric deposition fluxes of inorganic N, Fe, and P over the global ocean are accounted equal to ~40 Tg-N yr−1, ~0.28 Tg-Fe yr−1 and ~0.10 Tg-P yr−1. The resulting globally integrated primary production of roughly 47 Pg-C yr−1 is well within the range of satellite-based estimates and other modeling predictions. Preindustrial atmospheric nutrient deposition fluxes are lower compared to present-day (~51 %, ~36 %, and ~40 % for N, Fe, and P, respectively), resulting here in a lower marine primary production by ~3 % globally. Future changes in air pollutants under the RCP8.5 scenario result in a modest decrease of the bioaccessible nutrients input into the global ocean compared to present-day (~13 %, ~14 % and ~20 % for N, Fe and P, respectively), without significantly affecting the projected primary production in the model. The global mean nitrogen-fixation rates changed only marginally from preindustrial to future conditions (111 ± 0.6 Tg-N yr−1). With regard to the atmospheric inputs to the ocean, sensitivity model simulations indicate that the contribution of nutrients' organic fraction results in an increase in primary production by about 2.4 %. This estimate is almost equal to the effect of emissions and atmospheric processing on the oceanic biogeochemistry since preindustrial times in the model when only the inorganic fraction of the nutrients is considered. Although the impact of the atmospheric organic nutrients may imply a relatively weak response of marine productivity on a global scale, stronger regional effects up to ~20 % are calculated in the oligotrophic subtropical gyres. Overall, this work provides a first explicit assessment of the contribution of the organic forms of atmospheric nutrients, highlighting the importance of their representation in biogeochemistry models and thus the oceanic productivity estimates.

Stelios Myriokefalitakis et al.

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Stelios Myriokefalitakis et al.

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Short summary
Global inorganic and organic nutrient deposition fields are coupled to PISCES to investigate their effect on ocean biogeochemistry. Preindustrial deposition fluxes are lower compared to present-day, resulting in lower oceanic productivity. Future changes result in a modest decrease in the nutrients input into the global ocean. This work provides a first assessment of the atmospheric organic nutrients' contribution, highlighting the importance of their representation in biogeochemistry models.
Global inorganic and organic nutrient deposition fields are coupled to PISCES to investigate...
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