Validation of Stratification-Driven Phytoplankton Biomass and Nutrient Concentrations in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean as Simulated by EC-Earth

23 oktober 2019

The physical and biochemistry model EC-Earth-NEMO-PISCES is validated against physical and biological observations in the North-Atlantic (the Stratiphyt transect, running from the Azores to Iceland). While in the southern part of this transect the agreement is very good, the northern section clearly shows a mismatch in phytoplankton spring bloom that could be related to biases in simulated mixed layer depths and salinities. A second simulation with more accurate vertical ocean mixing showed improved springtime mixed layer depths, phytoplankton dynamics and nutrient distributions in the subpolar North Atlantic. This highlights the sensitivity of phytoplankton behaviour to increased future meltwater input into the North Atlantic resulting from e.g. melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. This paper also demonstrates the intricate links between physics and biology, and the need to validate the coupled system in Earth System Models.

For more information see the published paper: