loading page

Stronger carbon uptake by the ocean in eddy-resolving simulations of global warming
  • Damien Couespel,
  • Marina Lévy,
  • Laurent Bopp
Damien Couespel

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Marina Lévy
Sorbonne Université, CNRS, LOCEAN-IPSL
Author Profile
Laurent Bopp
Author Profile


Today, the ocean absorbs ~25% of the human-induced carbon emissions. Earth System Models (ESMs) indicate that the absorption increases by 0.79±0.07PgC per ppm of atmospheric CO2 increase (carbon-concentration feedback), but diminishes by -17.3±5.5PgC per degree of warming (carbon-climate feedback). Due to limited computational capacity, ESMs parameterize flows at scales smaller than their horizontal grid resolution, typically ~1°. We conduct simulations of global warming using increasingly finer horizontal resolutions (from 1° to 1/27°), with an ocean-biogeochemical model, in an idealized mid-latitude double-gyre circulation. Our findings demonstrate that these ocean carbon cycle feedbacks are highly influenced by resolution. This sensitivity primarily stems from how the overturning circulation’s mean state depends on resolution, as well as how it responds to global warming. Although being a fraction of the intricate response to climate change, it emphasizes the significance of an accurate representation of small-scale ocean processes to better constrain the future ocean carbon uptake.
14 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 Oct 2023Published in ESS Open Archive