Articles | Volume 19, issue 1
Research article
14 Jan 2022
Research article |  | 14 Jan 2022

Climate pathways behind phytoplankton-induced atmospheric warming

Rémy Asselot, Frank Lunkeit, Philip B. Holden, and Inga Hense

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Revised manuscript not accepted
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Cited articles

Adloff, M., Greene, S. E., Parkinson, I. J., Naafs, B. D. A., Preston, W., Ridgwell, A., Lunt, D. J., Jiménez, J. M. C., and Monteiro, F. M.: Unravelling the sources of carbon emissions at the onset of Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) 1a, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 530, 115947,, 2020. a
Alvarez, S. A., Gibbs, S. J., Bown, P. R., Kim, H., Sheward, R. M., and Ridgwell, A.: Diversity decoupled from ecosystem function and resilience during mass extinction recovery, Nature, 574, 242–245, 2019. a
Anderson, W., Gnanadesikan, A., Hallberg, R., Dunne, J., and Samuels, B.: Impact of ocean color on the maintenance of the Pacific Cold Tongue, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, 11,, 2007. a, b
Armstrong McKay, D. I., Cornell, S. E., Richardson, K., and Rockström, J.: Resolving ecological feedbacks on the ocean carbon sink in Earth system models, Earth Syst. Dynam., 12, 797–818,, 2021. a, b
Asselot, R., Lunkeit, F., Holden, P. B., and Hense, I.: The relative importance of phytoplankton light absorption and ecosystem complexity in an Earth system model, J. Adv. Model. Earth Sy., 13, e2020MS002110,, 2021. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s
Short summary
Previous studies show that phytoplankton light absorption can warm the atmosphere, but how this warming occurs is still unknown. We compare the importance of air–sea heat versus CO2 flux in the phytoplankton-induced atmospheric warming and determine the main driver. To shed light on this research question, we conduct simulations with a climate model of intermediate complexity. We show that phytoplankton mainly warms the atmosphere by increasing the air–sea CO2 flux.
Final-revised paper