Why Does It Matter that the Ocean Isn't Blue? Regional Impacts on Circulation and Ecosystems

Session ID#: 9294

Session Description:
Dissolved constituents in ocean water scatter and absorb light, trapping solar heating and photosynthetically active radiation near the ocean surface.  Although this fact has been known for 150 years, it is only recently that development of Earth System Models with predictive biogeochemistry and high vertical resolution and global satellite estimates of ocean color have allowed us to quantitatively examine the impact of this process on the Earth System. This new work has demonstrated that the impacts of trapping radiation near the surface vary greatly across regions, depending in large part on how the physics vary. This talk will examine a number of examples, including a.) The impact of deep shading on tropical circulation and El Nino, constrasting the subtropical gyres and ocean margins. b.) How changes in Arctic optical properties can act either as positive or negative feedbacks on ice loss, contrasting ice melt and riverine-influenced regions. c.) How the inclusion of CDOM can produce changes in biogeochemical cycling, contrasting light and and nutrient-limited regions.
Moderator:  Steven G Ackleson, S A Ocean Services, Falls Church, VA, United States
Primary Presenter:  Anand Gnanadesikan, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
Index Terms:

1622 Earth system modeling [GLOBAL CHANGE]
4264 Ocean optics [OCEANOGRAPHY: GENERAL]
4572 Upper ocean and mixed layer processes [OCEANOGRAPHY: PHYSICAL]
4805 Biogeochemical cycles, processes, and modeling [OCEANOGRAPHY: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL]
  • A - Air-sea Interactions and Upper Ocean Processes
  • CT - Chemical Tracers, DOM and Trace Metals
  • PO - Physical Oceanography/Ocean Circulation
  • PP - Phytoplankton and Primary Production