Oceanic N2O emissions in the 21st century

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Author(s) Martinez-Rey, J., Bopp, L., Gehlen, M., Tagliabue, A., Gruber N.
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Oceanic N2O emissions in the 21st century
Author(s) Martinez-Rey, J.
Bopp, L.
Gehlen, M.
Tagliabue, A.
Gruber N.
Journal or Series Title Biogeosciences discussions
Volume Number 11
Issue Number 12
Start Page 16703
End Page 16742
ISSN 1810-6277
Publisher Copernicus Publ.
Publication Place Göttingen
Publication Date 2014
Abstract The ocean is a substantial source of nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere, but little is known on how this flux might change in the future. Here, we investigate the potential evolution of marine N2O emissions in the 21st century in response to anthropogenic climate change using the global ocean biogeochemical model NEMO-PISCES. We implemented two different parameterizations of N2O production, which differ primarily at low oxygen (O2) conditions. When forced with output from a climate model simulation run under the business-as-usual high CO2 concentration scenario (RCP8.5), our simulations suggest a decrease of 4 to 12% in N2O emissions from 2005 to 2100, i.e., a reduction from 4.03/3.71 to 3.54/3.56 Tg N yr−1 depending on the parameterization. The emissions decrease strongly in the western basins of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, while they tend to increase above the Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs), i.e., in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and in the northern Indian Ocean. The reduction in N2O emissions is caused on the one hand by weakened nitrification as a consequence of reduced primary and export production, and on the other hand by stronger vertical stratification, which reduces the transport of N2O from the ocean interior to the ocean surface. The higher emissions over the OMZ are linked to an expansion of these zones under global warming, which leads to increased N2O production associated primarily with denitrification. From the perspective of a global climate system, the averaged feedback strength associated with the projected decrease in oceanic N2O emissions amounts to around −0.009 W m−2 K−1, which is comparable to the potential increase from terrestrial N2O sources. However, the assesment for a compensation between the terrestrial and marine feedbacks calls for an improved representation of N2O production terms in fully coupled next generation of Earth System Models.
DOI 10.5194/bgd-11-16703-2014
Additional Notes Received 16 September 2014, Accepted 15 October 2014, Published 4 December 2014
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
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NEBIS System Number 010153508
Source Database ID FORM-1421334838
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  author = "Martinez-Rey, J. and Bopp, L. and Gehlen, M. and Tagliabue, A. and Gruber N.",
  title = "{O}ceanic {N}2{O} emissions in the 21st century",
  journal = "Biogeosciences discussions",
  year = 2014,
  volume = "11",
  number = "12",
  pages = "16703--16742",

E-Citations record created: Thu, 15 Jan 2015, 15:14:01 CET