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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

We lack a clear understanding of how the subpolar North Atlantic carbon sink responds to climate change, despite the fact that this is a region of significant mean carbon uptake (Sabine et al. 2004). The vast majority of carbon cycle observations are of surface ocean pCO2, with strong seasonal to interannual timescale variability. This variability makes it difficult to distinguish trends, though several authors have tried (Lefevre et al. 2004, Omar and Olsen, 2006, Corbiere et al. 2007, Thomas et al. 2007). Numerical models are now able to capture a significant amount of physical and biogeochemical variability (Lima and Doney, 2004), and need to be used, in conjunction with data, to assess carbon cycle trends. In this project, I will use a North Atlantic regional model with newly-available data to ask: (1) How well can a physical-biogeochemical model capture in-situ observations of surface ocean pCO2 in the North Atlantic? (2) Has there been a trend in the subpolar North Atlantic carbon sink in recent decades? (3) If trends are not yet notable, how much sampling will be required to distinguish trends from variability? In the educational component, I will enhance the climate curriculum at UW-Madison and train high school teachers in climate and climate modeling, with a focus on carbon-climate interactions. Central to these efforts will be the EdGCM, a user-friendly version of the NASA GISS climate model. Curriculum will be designed to enhance the EdGCM experience by including carbon cycle investigations. The ultimate goal of this effort is to enhance climate and carbon cycle science literacy in the general public through UW-Madison and high school graduates. This work addresses several NASA Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems and OCB research priorities regarding ocean carbon uptake, and also responds to NASA’s Education Strategic Coordination Framework.

Project PI: Galen McKinley/University of Wisconsin - Madison

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences University of Wisconsin - Madison 1225 W. Dayton Street, Room 1511 Madison, WI 53706

Phone: 608-262-4817

Fax: 608 262 0166

Email: gamckinley@wisc.edu

http://experts.news.wisc.edu/experts/676

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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2010

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