Using a Data-assimilative Ocean Biogeochemistry Model (ECCO-Darwin) as a Novel Framework for Evaluating Carbon Mitigation Strategies, Outreach, and Policy

Dustin Carroll, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA, United States, Dimitris Menemenlis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States, Tom Van Der Stocken, CalTech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, John-O Niles, The Carbon Institute, San Diego, CA, United States, Kyle Cavanaugh, University of California Los Angeles, Geography, Los Angeles, United States and Jess F Adkins, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
It has been increasingly recognized that biogeochemical fluxes from coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, salt marshes, seagrasses, kelp forests, and corals, play a disproportionately large role in the global carbon budget and have a significant capacity for climate-change mitigation. Although they cover only a small fraction of the ocean surface, it is estimated that marine-vegetated habitats contribute 50% of the total carbon burial in the coastal and global ocean. In collaboration with the Carbon Institute, whose mission is “to train and empower a new global workforce to better measure and manage carbon”, we build a novel framework for the inclusion of ocean-model-based science to better inform coastal carbon management, reduce uncertainty in carbon mitigation strategies, and guide policy decisions. Specifically, we explore the inclusion of coastal kelp forests in a global ocean biogeochemistry model (ECCO-Darwin), with a focus on quantifying the associated carbon sequestration to the deep ocean and atmosphere. This work highlights the immediate need for the ocean modeling community to collaborate and disseminate knowledge that will aid in blue carbon outreach, progressive management, and policy development.