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Decadal variability in biogeochemical models: comparison with a 50‐year ocean colour dataset

Henson, Stephanie A.; Raitsos, Dionysios; Dunne, John P.; McQuatters‐Gollop, Abigail. 2009 Decadal variability in biogeochemical models: comparison with a 50‐year ocean colour dataset. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (11). L21601. 10.1029/2009GL040874

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Abstract/Summary

Assessing the skill of biogeochemical models to hindcast past variability is challenging, yet vital in order to assess their ability to predict biogeochemical change. However, the validation of decadal variability is limited by the sparsity of consistent, long‐term biological datasets. The Phytoplankton Colour Index (PCI) product from the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey, which has been sampling the North Atlantic since 1948, is an example of such a dataset. Converting the PCI to chlorophyll values using SeaWiFS data allows a direct comparison with model output. Here we validate decadal variability in chlorophyll from the GFDL TOPAZ model. The model demonstrates skill at reproducing interannual variability, but cannot simulate the regime shifts evident in the PCI data. Comparison of the model output, data and climate indices highlights under‐represented processes that it may be necessary to include in future biogeochemical models in order to accurately simulate decadal variability in ocean ecosystems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2009GL040874
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date made live: 11 Jan 2010 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/171934

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