Atlantic BiogeoChemical fluxes (ABC)

Lead Research Organisation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Department Name: Plymouth Marine Lab

Abstract

The North Atlantic Ocean plays a pivotal role in the global carbon cycle, by storing carbon released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned, and by supporting the sinking flux of organic matter. Our understanding of how horizontal oceanic fluxes in the subtropics contribute to these processes is largely based on shipboard expeditions which occur every 5 years at 24N. Sampling at that interval is insufficient to resolve and understand the role that horizontal transfers play in regulating these processes. Detailed time-series of physical properties at 26.5N from moored instruments suggest that variability in these fluxes will be occurring on a range of timescales. Once this variability is measured, it is almost inevitable that we will modify our understanding of the role the North Atlantic subtropical gyre plays in the global carbon cycle. In this proposal we will address these issues by deploying new chemical sensors and samplers across the Atlantic at 26.5N. We will use the data they provide to calculate time-series of fluxes of nutrient and inorganic carbon, including carbon released to the atmosphere by mans activities, across 26.5N. We will adopt a hierarchical approach, successively using existing observations, then new oxygen observations and ultimately direct observations of the carbon and nutrients in order to identify the added value each successive stage of our programme provides. We will interpret our direct flux calculations as contributions to the North Atlantic budget in conjunction with other observations and models, to assess how oceanic fluxes control the strength and variability of the role the North Atlantic plays in the global carbon cycle.

Planned Impact

Atlantic Biogeochemical Cycles (ABC) is an ambitious multi-institute programme addressing the variability in biogeochemical fluxes at 26.5N. ABC uses new measurements, including from biogeochemical sensors added to the 26.5N moored array, extra samples in the Florida Strait, and from new deep and bio-Argo floats. It will focus on a) understanding the variability of the transport, b) understanding what controls it and c) establishing the impact of the variability on the budgets of the subtropical gyre. This extends work undertaken in RAGNARoCC, the ocean component of the NERC Greenhouse Gases programme.

The major beneficiaries of this information will be policy makers. The Climate Change Act mandates the UK to cut its emissions of six greenhouse gases by 80% in order to stabilize atmospheric CO2 levels at 550 ppm by 2050. We suspect strongly that the natural carbon sink in the North Atlantic may be declining; a major goal of this work is to establish whether this is in fact occurring by focussing on variability in the flux of anthropogenic carbon at the Southern Boundary of the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre. Project outcomes will thus have a direct bearing on efforts to assess the efficacy of the current UK emissions policy, and is therefore of prime interest to two government departments.

Climate change and its impacts on environmental systems is also of considerable interest to the general public, the media, and to educators from primary school to university level. Our observations of where anthropogenic CO2 is presently stored and of how fast it is transported within the oceans are relevant to these issues and we expect widespread interest in our results.

Our plan for ensuring that our results are made available to these beneficiaries, in a form that is suitable for their use is provided in our Pathways to Impact plan.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description 1) A stand alone sampler was attached to a mooring in the Western Channel Observatory to test for its suitability before deployment on the RAPID array. This allowed different design sample bags to be tested as well as seeing how robust the sampler (Maclaine RAS) was for real deployments.

2) Two Bio-Argo floats were deployed on the Ragnarroc cruise (December 2015 - February 2016).

After the initial phase, the floats are sampling every 5 days down to 1000 m, with a plan to allow the float to dive to 2000 m one a month.

Plots of the data:
http://www.oao.obs-vlfr.fr/bioargo/PHP/metbio006d/metbio006d.html
http://www.oao.obs-vlfr.fr/bioargo/PHP/metbio008d/metbio008d.html

3) Data assimilation work (update January 2020):

After obtaining the final physical reanalyses for the 2007-2009 period we have run the offline biogeochemical configuration for the 2007-2009 period and repeatedly (starting from the 31.12.2009 outputs) for the 2007-2008 period in order to produce sufficiently realistic initial value conditions for the final 2009 run. Then a 9 member ensemble was produced by perturbing the ERSEM maximum growth rate parameter for picophytoplankton and nanophytoplankton (the two phytoplankton species occupying oligotrophic areas). The perturbations amounted to +- 25% and +- 50% of the presently established maximum growth rate value. Currently all, but one, ensemble member (2009) runs are finalized, with the last ensemble run to be finished in the next couple of days. When the last run is finalized we will postprocess the results in order to estimate the uncertainties in carbon fluxes along the RAPID array locations.
Exploitation Route Lessons learned:
How to deploy.
How to recover.
How to moor the instrument successfully.

Successful methods for Data Assimilation
Sectors Education,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Title A global bio-optical database derived from Biogeochemical Argo float measurements within the layer of interest for field and remote ocean color applications 
Description The database here presented includes quality-controlled bio-optical and biogeochemical variables derived from autonomous profiling Biogeochemical Argo float measurements, and supports field and remote ocean color applications. Data represent the first optical depth (i.e., the layer of interest for satellite remote sensing) and have been collected between October 2012 and January 2016, around local noon, in several oceanic areas encompassing the diversity of ocean's trophic environments. In addition to the first optical depth (as derived from the in situ measured depth of the euphotic layer), the presented database is compiled with data of diffuse light attenuation coefficients of photosynthetically available radiation and downward irradiance at 3 wavelengths (380, 412 and 490 nm), chlorophyll a concentration, fluorescent dissolved organic matter, and particle light backscattering at 700 nm. Associated errors to each variable are also reported. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This new research database has been used to identify bio-optical anomaly in the global ocean. This is important because we have shown in which ocean regions and during which seasons of the year the global ocean-colour bio-optical models are applicable. Results from this analysis have been written into a manuscript which is currently under review. 
URL http://doi.org/10.17882/47142
 
Title A global database of vertical profiles derived from Biogeochemical Argo float measurements for biogeochemical and bio-optical applications 
Description The presented database includes 0-1000 m vertical profiles of bio-optical and biogeochemical variables acquired by autonomous profiling Biogeochemical-Argo (BGC-Argo) floats. Data have been collected between October 2012 and January 2016, around local noon, in several oceanic areas encompassing the diversity of ocean's trophic environments. The database includes profiles of downward irradiance at 3 wavelengths (380, 412 and 490 nm), photosynthetically available radiation, chlorophyll a concentration, fluorescent dissolved organic matter, and particle light backscattering at 700 nm. All variables have been quality controlled following specifically-developed procedures, that aimed to support biogeochemical and bio-optical applications at the global scale. Data corruption by biofouling and any instrumental drift has also been verified. Moreover, to allow users for different biogeochemical applications, vertical profiles of chlorophyll a and particle light backscattering at 700 nm have been presented before and after advanced processing (e.g., non-photochemical quenching correction, identification of spikes). Vertical profiles of temperature and salinity associated to these bio-optical data are also provided although they have been only quality-controlled for sensor issues related to bio-fouling and instrumental drift. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact n/a 
URL https://www.seanoe.org/data/00383/49388/
 
Title ABC offline configuration 
Description Offline NEMO-FABM-ERSEM configuration for the North Atlantic domain set to analyse carbon fluxes and their associated uncertainty. The configuration was driven by physical reanalysis products (based on RAPID array data assimilation into NEMO) and produced a 3 year (2007-2009) simulation of carbon fluxes in the North Atlantic. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Maps of carbon fluxes for the Atlantic domain and their associated uncertainties. 
 
Title Reanalysis and regionalization of the biogeochemistry of the Mediterranean Sea (1998-2014) 
Description We assimilated ocean-colour phytoplankton functional types into a three dimensional physical-biogeochemical model of the Mediterranean Sea, in a reanalysis spanning 1998-2014. Daily and/or monthly outputs were collected in a database (NETCDF files) that is freely available on request to Stefano Ciavatta 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The post-processing of the database led to a novel definition of ecoregions in the Mediterranean Sea, based on the spatial distribution of the phytoplankton community structure and related carbon fluxes. The main purpose of such regionalization is to support Blue Growth in the Mediterranean Sea, and to test analysis tecniques that can be applied in the context of the North West European Shelf-Seas. These findings are the object of a manuscript submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, by Ciavatta et al. 
 
Description Deployment of Bio-Argo floats 
Organisation National Oceanography Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supplied the Bio-Argo floats (originally purchased as part of a NERC Big-Data capital grant).
Collaborator Contribution Deployed the Bio-Argo floats as part of a research cruise associated with ABC-Fluxes
Impact Continued UK contribution to the global bio-Argo fleet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Remote Access Sampler: pre-deployment testing at the Western Channel Observatory 
Organisation National Oceanography Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Designed the configuration of the mooring attachment so that the McClain RAS sampler could be deployed on a mooring.
Collaborator Contribution Supplied the sampler and prepared it for deployment
Impact Knowledge of how the sampler behaves in the real environment. Training opportunity and testing of different bag technology / preservative type
Start Year 2015
 
Description Co-charing the session of the Copernicus Marine Enviornment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) at EGU General Assembly 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This session was very important because it was presenting a selection of works carried out within the EU CMEMS activities, focusing on studies on:
• scientific advances on thematics relevant to CMEMS (e.g. on physical and biogeochemical modeling, coupling with coastal systems; coupling with sea-ice, atmosphere & waves models; data assimilation both for physics and biogeochemistry; impact of existing and future in situ and satellite observations for estimates of the ocean state; processing and analysis of remote and in-situ observations of the ocean) that are needed for the short to long term evolution of the CMEMS products.
• verification, validation and uncertainty estimates of CMEMS products, forecasting skills,
• the use of CMEMS products for downstream applications,
• ocean monitoring and on the long-term assessment of the ocean physical and biogeochemical states.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2017/orals/24345
 
Description Co-charing the session of the Copernicus Marine Enviornment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) at EGU General Assembly 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The session provided scientific basis and ideas to define the future development of operational oceanography.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2018/session/26768
 
Description Inited talk at the Mercator Ocean International Marine Data Assimilation workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Being a recognized expert in marine biogeochemical data assimilation, I was invited to give a talk entitled "State-of-the-art of biogeochemical data assimilation" at the international workshop organized by Mercator Ocean International (which is the organization implementing the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service in the framework of a delegation agreement with the European Union), in Toulouse, France, 5-6 September 2018 (https://www.mercator-ocean.fr/en/news/marine-data-assimilation/).
The workshop objective was to set the scene for creating a long-term European infrastructure in marine data assimilation.
The works of the workshop were reported in a document that has the aim to support the definition of a strategy for the development of Marine Data Assimilation in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mercator-ocean.fr/en/news/marine-data-assimilation/
 
Description Invited plenary talk at the OceanPredict 19 Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a talk on the future directions that marine biogeochemical DA should take, to an audience including the leading global actors of operational oceanography as well as the private sector and governmental users. The talk sparked question and interest on marine ecoystems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://oceanpredict19.org/
 
Description Invited talk (via teleconference) to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Color Coordinating Group (NOCCG) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to talk about my ocean-colour data assimilation work to the NOCCG is a NOAA organization founded in 2011 by Dr. Paul DiGiacomo, Chief of the Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division at NOAA/NESDIS/STAR. The purpose of the NOCCG is to keep members up to date about developments for satellite ocean color. They have representatives from all the NOAA line offices, including National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Ocean Service, National Weather Service and from several levels of the National Environmental and Satellite Data and Information Service.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at the ASLO 2017 Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, February 26th until March 3rd 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My invited presentation was the opening talk of the session "Toward greater synthesis: ocean color imagery and biogeochemical/ecosystem numerical modeling", organised by the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG). IOCCG promotes the application of remotely-sensed ocean-colour data through coordination, training, liaison between providers (space agencies) and users (scientists), advocacy and provision of expert advice. The IOCCG also has a strong interest in capacity building, and conducts and sponsors advanced ocean colour training courses in various countries around the world. The IOCCG is an Affiliated Programme of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and an Associate Member of CEOS. The activities of the IOCCG are supported by national Space Agencies and other organisations, and upon infrastructure support from SCOR and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada) where the IOCCG Project Office is hosted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.sgmeet.com/aslo/honolulu2017/viewabstract.asp?AbstractID=28949
 
Description Invited talk at the CMEMS General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I represented the CMEMS Service Evolution (SE) programme in a talk on the impacts of the SE projects on CMEMS operational systems (including my SE projects TOSCA and OPTIMA). This wass an ideal venue to highlight PML/NCEO/NERC Data Assimilation impact on Copernicus marine services and beyond. The talk sparked questions and interest.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://marine.copernicus.eu/copernicus-marine-service-general-assembly/
 
Description Invited talk at the Metcator Ocean Interantional Data Assimilation Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop aimed to shape the strategy for the future development of marine data assimilation for operational oceanography and research in Europe and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Oral presentation and discussion at the meeting of the GODAE OceanView meeting - MEAP and DA WGs - Santa Cruz, California 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I participated to the joint meating of the two working groups in Data Assimilation (DA) and Marine Ecosystem Analysis and Prediction (MEAP) of the GODAE OceanView. This organization, initiated in 1997, aims to establish an effective and efficient infrastructure for global operational oceanography and to develop practical and robust operational activities for oceanography with great benefit for society.
The works of the meeting (which were collected in a report and in a publication in preparation) will provide guidance on best practices in the use of data assimilation of earth observations with marine ecosystem models.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.godae-oceanview.org/outreach/meetings-workshops/task-team-meetings/joint-da-meap-tt-work...
 
Description Oral presentation at the EGU 2017 Meeting - GODAE OceanView session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk presented a break-through method in biogeochemical data assimilation, consisting in the assimilation of plankton functional type data derived from ocean-colour observations. The talk sparked questions and requests of collaborations by colleagues. The talk was given in the session of the Marine Environment Analysis and Prediction - Task Team (MEAP-TT) of GODAE OceanView. GODAE OceanView is a progremme initiated in 1997, with the aim to establish an effective and efficient infrastructure for global operational oceanography and to develop practical and robust operational activities for oceanography with great benefit for society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017EGUGA..1918899C
 
Description Oral presentation at the ESA's workshop "Atlantic from space", Southampton, UK, 23-25 January 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a talk entitled "Decadal reanalysis of biogeochemical indicators and fluxes in the North East Atlantic ecosystem" at the ESA's workshop "Atlantic from space", Southampton, UK, 23-25 January 2019. This talk provide my expert contribution to the objective of the workshop, which was to assess the opportunities for Atlantic region focussed Earth Observation research and development, downstream activities and Information and communications technology (ICT) evolution, which may be the basis for future ESA investments to address some of the key information needs of this important area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://eo4society.esa.int/event/atlantic-from-space/
 
Description Talk at conference (Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk sparked questions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.agu.org/ocean-sciences-meeting/
 
Description Talk at conference - EGU Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 50 scientists assisted the talk, which stimulated questions and discussion. In particular, after listening my talk, the session convener asked me to develop a future collaboration to couple ERSEM to the MIT model of the Mediterranean Sea
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://egu2019.eu/