Decadal reanalysis of biogeochemical indicators and fluxes in the North West European shelf-sea ecosystem

TitleDecadal reanalysis of biogeochemical indicators and fluxes in the North West European shelf-sea ecosystem
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCiavatta, S, Kay, S, Saux-Picart, S, Butenschön, M, Allen, JI
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: OceansJournal of Geophysical Research: OceansJ. Geophys. Res. Oceans
Pagination1824 - 1845
Date Published03/2016
ISBN Number2169-9275
Keywordsair-sea flux of carbon dioxide, data assimilation, dissolved oxygen, marine ecosystems, marine policy, ocean color

Abstract This paper presents the first decadal reanalysis simulation of the biogeochemistry of the North West European shelf, along with a full evaluation of its skill, confidence, and value. An error-characterized satellite product for chlorophyll was assimilated into a physical-biogeochemical model of the North East Atlantic, applying a localized Ensemble Kalman filter. The results showed that the reanalysis improved the model simulation of assimilated chlorophyll in 60% of the study region. Model validation metrics showed that the reanalysis had skill in matching a large data set of in situ observations for 10 ecosystem variables. Spearman rank correlations were significant and higher than 0.7 for physical-chemical variables (temperature, salinity, and oxygen), ?0.6 for chlorophyll and nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, and silicate), and significant, though lower in value, for partial pressure of dissolved carbon dioxide (?0.4). The reanalysis captured the magnitude of pH and ammonia observations, but not their variability. The value of the reanalysis for assessing environmental status and variability has been exemplified in two case studies. The first shows that between 325,000 and 365,000 km2 of shelf bottom waters were vulnerable to oxygen deficiency potentially threatening bottom fishes and benthos. The second application confirmed that the shelf is a net sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide, but the total amount of uptake varies between 36 and 46 Tg C yr?1 at a 90% confidence level. These results indicate that the reanalysis output data set can inform the management of the North West European shelf ecosystem, in relation to eutrophication, fishery, and variability of the carbon cycle.

Short TitleJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans