Carbon model worksheet 2

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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 2: Long term legacy of fossil fuels

While worksheet 1 examines the immediate future, the aim of this worksheet is to examine how much extra CO2 is likely to remain in the atmosphere long after CO2 emissions cease.

Note that because of the longer simulation durations, the model will take longer to run (although not proportionately longer, because of an adaptive timestep which allows the model to run "faster" when less is happening).

  1. Change the run duration to 200,000 years. Add 4000 Gt C of fossil fuels over 400 years. How much CO2 is there in the atmosphere: (1) before any emissions, (2) at the peak of emissions, (3) at the peak of atmospheric CO2 concentration, (4) at year 5000, (5) at year 10,000, (6) at year 50,000, and (7) at year 200,000?
  2. Does atmospheric pCO2 in the model return to values higher than pre-industrial? How much higher at year 200,000?
  3. Examine the behaviour of the lysocline (CaCO3 "snowline") over time. What is the initial depth? Does it shallow or deepen following CO2 emissions? How long does it take to return to the pre-industrial value?
  4. What is the difference between the pre-fossil fuel and post-fossil fuel equilibrium values of: (a) [DIC], (b) [Alkalinity], (c) [CO3], and (d) pH, all in the surface ocean?

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

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