Articles | Volume 8, issue 5
Model description paper
28 May 2015
Model description paper |  | 28 May 2015

Including an ocean carbon cycle model into iLOVECLIM (v1.0)

N. Bouttes, D. M. Roche, V. Mariotti, and L. Bopp

Abstract. The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration plays a crucial role in the radiative balance and as such has a strong influence on the evolution of climate. Because of the numerous interactions between climate and the carbon cycle, it is necessary to include a model of the carbon cycle within a climate model to understand and simulate past and future changes of the carbon cycle. In particular, natural variations of atmospheric CO2 have happened in the past, while anthropogenic carbon emissions are likely to continue in the future. To study changes of the carbon cycle and climate on timescales of a few hundred to a few thousand years, we have included a simple carbon cycle model into the iLOVECLIM Earth System Model. In this study, we describe the ocean and terrestrial biosphere carbon cycle models and their performance relative to observational data. We focus on the main carbon cycle variables including the carbon isotope ratios δ13C and the Δ14C. We show that the model results are in good agreement with modern observations both at the surface and in the deep ocean for the main variables, in particular phosphates, dissolved inorganic carbon and the carbon isotopes.

Short summary
We describe the development of a relatively simple climate model to include a model of the carbon cycle in the ocean. The carbon cycle consists of the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere, land vegetation and ocean. In the ocean, carbon exists in organic form, such as plankton which grows and dies, and inorganic forms, such as dissolved CO2. With this we will be able to explore long-standing questions such as why the atmospheric CO2 has changed over time during the last million years.