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Intensification of tropical Pacific biological productivity due to volcanic eruptions
Chikamoto, M.; Timmermann, A.; Yoshimori, M.; Lehner, F.; Laurian, A.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Mouchet, A.; Joos, F.; Raible, C.; Cobb, K. (2016). Intensification of tropical Pacific biological productivity due to volcanic eruptions. Geophys. Res. Lett. 43(3): 1184-1192. dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015GL067359
In: Geophysical Research Letters. American Geophysical Union: Washington. ISSN 0094-8276, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    volcanic eruptions; biological production; nutrient variability;tropical Pacific; ENSO; last millennium

Authors  Top 
  • Chikamoto, M.
  • Timmermann, A.
  • Yoshimori, M.
  • Lehner, F.
  • Laurian, A.
  • Abe-Ouchi, A.
  • Mouchet, A., more
  • Joos, F.
  • Raible, C.
  • Cobb, K.

Abstract
    Major volcanic eruptions generate widespread ocean cooling, which reduces upper ocean stratification. This effect has the potential to increase nutrient delivery into the euphotic zone and boost biological productivity. Using externally forced last millennium simulations of three climate/Earth System models (Model for Interdisciplinary Research On Climate (MIROC), Community Earth System Model (CESM), and LOch-Vecode-Ecbilt-CLio-agIsm Model (LOVECLIM)), we test the hypothesis that large volcanic eruptions intensify nutrient-driven export production. It is found that strong volcanic radiative forcing enhances the likelihood of eastern Pacific El Nino-like warming in CESM and LOVECLIM. This leads to an initial reduction of nutrients and export production in the eastern equatorial Pacific. However, this initial response reverses after about 3years in association with La Nina cooling. The resulting delayed enhancement of biological production resembles the multiyear response in MIROC. The model simulations show that volcanic impacts on tropical Pacific dynamics and biogeochemistry persist for several years, thus providing a new source for potential multiyear ecosystem predictability.

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