September 2014

Lionel Arteaga reports about his miniproposal.


Ocean Biogeochemistry under Changing Climate with a Phytoplankton Optimality-based Model

Lionel Arteaga, GEOMAR

My miniproposal research was motivated by the observation that current earth system models still don’t confidently predict biogeochemical trends under changing climate and environmental conditions, with major uncertainties residing in the biological component of such models. My aim was to evaluate changes in the projected future marine carbon cycle resulting from the inclusion of optimality-based formulations. This implied major modifications in the biogeochemical compartment of an Earth System Climate model and I chose to carry out this work in the Climate Change Research Center (CCRC) of UNSW, Sydney, under supervision of Prof. Katrin Meissner. For doing this, I applied for an ISOS miniproposal. My experience at the CCRC was extremely fruitful. On the technical side, I gain a variety of technical tools which were not an initial component of my original PhD work plan. While our group in Kiel is mainly composed of numerical modelers, it was very insightful to learn new techniques and working methods from another research group.

A perfect experience was working in an institute dealing directly with climate change issues attracting attention from the press and the general public. For me personally, it was very useful to understand how my research can contribute to answer this sort of more immediate questions, specifically related to the future trends of the global carbon cycle.

I still have an ongoing collaboration with Prof. Meissner, and I was able to include some of the results of my miniproposal in my final PhD manuscript. I am now, after completing my PhD, continuing the research started at the CCRC, and we hope to have scientific manuscript ready within the upcoming months.