Carbon sequestration by patch fertilization: A comprehensive assessment using coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models

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This final report summarizes research undertaken collaboratively between Princeton University, the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory on the Princeton University campus, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of California, Los Angeles between September 1, 2000, and November 30, 2006, to do fundamental research on ocean iron fertilization as a means to enhance the net oceanic uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. The approach we proposed was to develop and apply a suite of coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models in order to (i) determine to what extent enhanced carbon fixation from iron fertilization will lead to an ... continued below

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28 pages

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Jorge L. Sarmiento - Princeton PI, Anand Gnanadesikan - Princeton Co-I, Nicolas Gruber - UCLA PI, Xin Jin - UCLA PostDoc, Robert Armstrong - SUNY /Stony Brook Consultant June 21, 2007.

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This final report summarizes research undertaken collaboratively between Princeton University, the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory on the Princeton University campus, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of California, Los Angeles between September 1, 2000, and November 30, 2006, to do fundamental research on ocean iron fertilization as a means to enhance the net oceanic uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. The approach we proposed was to develop and apply a suite of coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models in order to (i) determine to what extent enhanced carbon fixation from iron fertilization will lead to an increase in the oceanic uptake of atmospheric CO2 and how long this carbon will remain sequestered (efficiency), and (ii) examine the changes in ocean ecology and natural biogeochemical cycles resulting from iron fertilization (consequences). The award was funded in two separate three-year installments: • September 1, 2000 to November 30, 2003, for a project entitled “Ocean carbon sequestration by fertilization: An integrated biogeochemical assessment.” A final report was submitted for this at the end of 2003 and is included here as Appendix 1. • December 1, 2003 to November 30, 2006, for a follow-on project under the same grant number entitled “Carbon sequestration by patch fertilization: A comprehensive assessment using coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models.” This report focuses primarily on the progress we made during the second period of funding subsequent to the work reported on in Appendix 1. When we began this project, we were thinking almost exclusively in terms of long-term fertilization over large regions of the ocean such as the Southern Ocean, with much of our focus being on how ocean circulation and biogeochemical cycling would interact to control the response to a given fertilization scenario. Our research on these types of scenarios, which was carried out largely during the first three years of our project, led to several major new insights on the interaction between ocean biogeochemistry and circulation. This work, which is described in the following Section II on “Large scale fertilization,” has continued to appear in the literature over the past few years, including two high visibility papers in Nature. Early on in the first three years of our project, it became clear that small "patch-scale" fertilizations over limited regions of order 100 km diameter were much more likely than large scale fertilization, and we carried out a series of idealized patch fertilization simulations reported on in Gnanadesikan et al. (2003). Based on this paper and other results we had obtained by the end of our first three-year grant, we identified a number of important issues that needed to be addressed in the second three-year period of this grant. Section III on “patch fertilization” discusses the major findings of this phase of our research, which is described in two major manuscripts that will be submitted for publication in the near future. This research makes use of new more realistic ocean ecosystem and iron cycling models than our first paper on this topic. We have several major new insights into what controls the efficiency of iron fertilization in the ocean. Section IV on “model development” summarizes a set of papers describing the progress that we made on improving the ecosystem models we use for our iron fertilization simulations.

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28 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/63009-3
  • Grant Number: FG02-00ER63009
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 908925
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878532

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  • June 21, 2007

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Jan. 9, 2018, 6:03 p.m.

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Jorge L. Sarmiento - Princeton PI, Anand Gnanadesikan - Princeton Co-I, Nicolas Gruber - UCLA PI, Xin Jin - UCLA PostDoc, Robert Armstrong - SUNY /Stony Brook Consultant. Carbon sequestration by patch fertilization: A comprehensive assessment using coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models, report, June 21, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878532/: accessed August 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.