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Climate and marine carbon cycle response to changes in the strength of the Southern Hemispheric westerlies
Menviel, L.; Timmermann, A.; Mouchet, A.; Timm, O. (2008). Climate and marine carbon cycle response to changes in the strength of the Southern Hemispheric westerlies. Paleoceanography 23(4). dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008PA001604
In: Paleoceanography. American Geophysical Union: Washington, DC. ISSN 0883-8305, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 231446 [ OMA ]

Authors  Top 
  • Menviel, L.
  • Timmermann, A.
  • Mouchet, A., more
  • Timm, O.

Abstract
    It has been previously suggested that changes in the strength and position of the Southern Hemisphere westerlies could be a key contributor to glacial-interglacial atmospheric CO2 variations. To test this hypothesis, we perform a series of sensitivity experiments using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. A strengthening of the climatological mean surface winds over the Southern Ocean induces stronger upwelling and increases the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water. Enhanced Ekman pumping brings more dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC)-rich waters to the surface. However, the stronger upwelling also supplies more nutrients to the surface, thereby enhancing marine export production in the Southern Hemisphere and decreasing the DIC content in the euphotic zone. The net response is a small atmospheric CO2 increase (similar to 5 ppmv) compared to the full glacial-interglacial CO2 amplitude of similar to 90 ppmv. Roughly the opposite results are obtained for a weakening of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds.

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