Climate pathways behind phytoplankton-induced atmospheric warming.

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Date: Jan. 14, 2022
From: Biogeosciences(Vol. 19, Issue 1)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 240 words

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Abstract :

We investigate the ways in which marine biologically mediated heating increases the surface atmospheric temperature. While the effects of phytoplankton light absorption on the ocean have gained attention over the past years, the impact of this biogeophysical mechanism on the atmosphere is still unclear. Phytoplankton light absorption warms the surface of the ocean, which in turn affects the air-sea heat and CO.sub.2 exchanges. However, the contribution of air-sea heat versus CO.sub.2 fluxes in the phytoplankton-induced atmospheric warming has not been yet determined. Different so-called climate pathways are involved. We distinguish heat exchange, CO.sub.2 exchange, dissolved CO.sub.2, solubility of CO.sub.2 and sea-ice-covered area. To shed more light on this subject, we employ the EcoGEnIE Earth system model that includes a new light penetration scheme and isolate the effects of individual fluxes. Our results indicate that phytoplankton-induced changes in air-sea CO.sub.2 exchange warm the atmosphere by 0.71 .sup." C due to higher greenhouse gas concentrations. The phytoplankton-induced changes in air-sea heat exchange cool the atmosphere by 0.02 .sup." C due to a larger amount of outgoing longwave radiation. Overall, the enhanced air-sea CO.sub.2 exchange due to phytoplankton light absorption is the main driver in the biologically induced atmospheric heating.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A689555975