The changing ocean carbon sink

We use large databases of surface ocean pCO2 data to assess how the ocean carbon cycle is responding to the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration (latest NOAA data for the atmosphere).

Earth System Models

We use the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Community Earth System Model in Large Ensemble mode to understand how natural variability in the climate system impacts our ability to detect change in the ocean carbon sink. We are also using the CESM to study mechanisms of future change and uncertainty in carbon cycle projections.

North Atlantic

We have developed a North Atlantic regional coupled physical- ecosystem-carbon model  to investigate the impacts of physical variability on ecosystem-carbon cycle dynamics.

Great Lakes

We use numerical models to understand circulation, carbon cycling, lake-wide biogeochemistry, and CO2-induced acidification in the Great Lakes. We have published several papers on the carbon budget of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Publications currently in review address the biogeochemical impacts of the quagga mussel invasion in Lake Michigan.


This image is taken from a movie of Lake Superior mixing made from Val Bennington’s simulations with our numerical model. A dye in input on January 1 of 1997 at two river mouths. In the movie, you can see that even after 23 months of the vigorous Lake Superior currents, there is a long way to go before inputs from either river would be evenly distributed around the lake!

Previous Work  

Please see our Publications for previous work.