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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-75
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2019-75
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 06 Dec 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

Climate change in a conceptual atmosphere–plankton model

György Károlyi1, Rudolf Dániel Prokaj2, István Scheuring3, and Tamás Tél4 György Károlyi et al.
  • 1Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Institute of Nuclear Techniques, Műegyetem rkp. 3., 1111 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Stochastics, Műegyetem rkp. 3., 1111 Budapest, Hungary
  • 3MTA-ELTE Theoretical Biology and Evolutionray Ecology Research Group, Department of Plant Taxonomy, Ecology andTheoretical Biology, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary and MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Evolutionary Systems Research Group, Tihany, Hungary
  • 4Department of Theoretical Physics, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary, and MTA-ELTE Theoretical Physics ResearchGroup, Budapest, Hungary

Abstract. We develop a conceptual coupled atmosphere–phytoplankton model by combining the Lorenz'84 general circulation model and the logistic population growth model under the condition of a climate change due to a linear time dependence of the strength of anthropogenic atmospheric forcing. The following types of couplings are taken into account: (a) the temperature modifies the total biomass of phytoplankton via the carrying capacity, (b) the extraction of carbon dioxide by phytoplankton slows down the speed of climate change, (c) the strength of mixing/turbulence in the oceanic mixing layer is in correlation with phytoplankton productivity. We carry out an ensemble approach (in the spirit of the theory of snapshot attractors) and concentrate on the trends of the average phytoplankton concentration and average temperature contrast between the pole and equator, forcing the atmospheric dynamics. The effect of turbulence is found to have the strongest influence on these trends. Our results show that (a) sufficiently strong mixing is able to force the typical phytoplankton concentration to always decay globally in time, and the temperature contrast to decrease faster than what follows from direct anthropogenic influences. Simple relations found for the trends without this coupling do, however, remain valid, just the coefficients become dependent on the strength of coupling with oceanic mixing. In particular, the phytoplankton concentration and its coupling to climate is found to modify the trend of global warming, and is able to make it stronger than what it would be without biomass.

György Károlyi et al.
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György Károlyi et al.
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Short summary
We construct a conceptual model to understand the interplay between the atmosphere and the ocean biosphere in a climate change framework, including couplings between extraction of carbon dioxide by phytoplankton and climate change, temperature and carrying capacity of phytoplankton, wind energy and phytoplankton production. We find that sufficiently strong mixing can result in decaying gloal phytoplankton content.
We construct a conceptual model to understand the interplay between the atmosphere and the ocean...
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