Carbon model worksheet 1

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A schematic of the organic and inorganic components of the modelled carbon cycle.
The aim of this carbon model worksheet is to analyse some of the properties of the carbon model.

Worksheet 1: Ocean carbon sink over the next 100 years

Various global change-related processes may alter the behaviour of the ocean carbon cycle. How significant will these human-induced changes be to the ocean’s ability to absorb anthropogenic CO2? What difference will it make to the rise in atmospheric CO2? The model allows you to implement of different scenarios for the future carbon cycle.

  1. Run the model until year 2100, without fossil fuels. What is the atmospheric CO2 concentration at the end of the run? Now add 4000 Gt C of fossil fuels between 1900 and 2300 AD. How high does atmospheric CO2 go by year 2100?
  2. Double the river flux of phosphorus. What impact does this have on year 2100 atm. CO2?
  3. Double the river flux of nitrate (this has an impact on alkalinity and therefore on atmospheric CO2. What difference does this make to the rise in CO2 by year 2100?
  4. Halve the mixing strength between: (1) surface and middle boxes, (2) middle and deep boxes, and (3) both simultaneously. What affect do those changes have on atmospheric CO2?

Once you have completed these questions, follow this link for the answers.

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