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Bjorn Stevens and Stephanie Fiedler

Abstract

Kretzschmar et al., in a comment in 2017, use the spread in the output of aerosol–climate models to argue that the models refute the hypothesis (presented in a paper by Stevens in 2015) that for the mid-twentieth-century warming to be consistent with observations, then the present-day aerosol forcing, must be less negative than −1 W m−2. The main point of contention is the nature of the relationship between global SO2 emissions and In contrast to the concave (log-linear) relationship used by Stevens and in earlier studies, whereby becomes progressively less sensitive to SO2 emissions, some models suggest a convex relationship, which would imply a less negative lower bound. The model that best exemplifies this difference, and that is most clearly in conflict with the hypothesis of Stevens, does so because of an implausible aerosol response to the initial rise in anthropogenic aerosol precursor emissions in East and South Asia—already in 1975 this model’s clear-sky reflectance from anthropogenic aerosol over the North Pacific exceeds present-day estimates of the clear-sky reflectance by the total aerosol. The authors perform experiments using a new (observationally constrained) climatology of anthropogenic aerosols to further show that the effects of changing patterns of aerosol and aerosol precursor emissions during the late twentieth century have, for the same global emissions, relatively little effect on These findings suggest that the behavior Kretzschmar et al. identify as being in conflict with the lower bound in Stevens arises from an implausible relationship between SO2 emissions and and thus provides little basis for revising this lower bound.

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Henry C. Bittig, Björn Fiedler, Peer Fietzek, and Arne Körtzinger

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of hydrostatic pressure of up to 6000 dbar on Aanderaa and Sea-Bird oxygen optodes both in the laboratory and in the field. The overall pressure response is a reduction in the O2 reading by 3%–4% per 1000 dbar, which is closely linear with pressure and increases with temperature. Closer inspection reveals two superimposed processes with an opposite effect: an O2-independent pressure response on the luminophore that increases optode O2 readings and an O2-dependent change in luminescence quenching that decreases optode O2 readings. The latter process dominates and is mainly due to a shift in the equilibrium between the sensing membrane and seawater under elevated pressures. If only the dominant O2-dependent process is considered, then the Aanderaa and Sea-Bird optodes differ in their pressure response. Compensation of the O2-independent process, however, yields a uniform O2 dependence for Aanderaa optodes with standard foil and fast-response foil as well as for Sea-Bird optodes. A new scheme to calculate optode O2 from raw data is proposed to account for the two processes. The overall uncertainty of the optode pressure correction amounts to 0.3% per 1000 dbar, which is mainly due to variability between the sensors.

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Peer Fietzek, Björn Fiedler, Tobias Steinhoff, and Arne Körtzinger

Abstract

This paper presents a detailed quality assessment of a novel underwater sensor for the measurement of CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) based on surface water field deployments carried out between 2008 and 2011. The commercially available sensor, which is based on membrane equilibration and nondispersive IR (NDIR) spectrometry is small and can be integrated into mobile platforms. It is calibrated in water against a proven flow-through pCO2 instrument within a custom-built calibration setup. The aspect of highest concern with respect to achievable data quality of the sensor is the compensation for signal drift inevitably connected to absorption measurements. Three means are used to correct for drift effects: (i) a filter correlation or dual-beam setup, (ii) regular zero gas measurements realized automatically within the sensor, and (iii) a zero-based transformation of two sensor calibrations flanking the time of sensor deployment.

Three sensors were tested against an underway pCO2 system during two major research cruises, providing an in situ temperature range from 7.4° to 30.1°C and pCO2 values between 289 and 445 μatm. The average difference between sensor and reference pCO2 was found to be −0.6 ±3.0 μatm with an RMSE of 3.7 μatm.

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Peer Fietzek, Björn Fiedler, Tobias Steinhoff, and Arne Körtzinger
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Björn Fiedler, Peer Fietzek, Nuno Vieira, Péricles Silva, Henry C. Bittig, and Arne Körtzinger

Abstract

In recent years, profiling floats, which form the basis of the successful international Argo observatory, are also being considered as platforms for marine biogeochemical research. This study showcases the utility of floats as a novel tool for combined gas measurements of CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) and O2. These float prototypes were equipped with a small-sized and submersible pCO2 sensor and an optode O2 sensor for high-resolution measurements in the surface ocean layer. Four consecutive deployments were carried out during November 2010 and June 2011 near the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO) in the eastern tropical North Atlantic. The profiling float performed upcasts every 31 h while measuring pCO2, O2, salinity, temperature, and hydrostatic pressure in the upper 200 m of the water column. To maintain accuracy, regular pCO2 sensor zeroings at depth and surface, as well as optode measurements in air, were performed for each profile. Through the application of data processing procedures (e.g., time-lag correction), accuracies of floatborne pCO2 measurements were greatly improved (10–15 μatm for the water column and 5 μatm for surface measurements). O2 measurements yielded an accuracy of 2 μmol kg−1. First results of this pilot study show the possibility of using profiling floats as a platform for detailed and unattended observations of the marine carbon and oxygen cycle dynamics.

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Stephanie Fiedler, Traute Crueger, Roberta D’Agostino, Karsten Peters, Tobias Becker, David Leutwyler, Laura Paccini, Jörg Burdanowitz, Stefan A. Buehler, Alejandro Uribe Cortes, Thibaut Dauhut, Dietmar Dommenget, Klaus Fraedrich, Leonore Jungandreas, Nicola Maher, Ann Kristin Naumann, Maria Rugenstein, Mirjana Sakradzija, Hauke Schmidt, Frank Sielmann, Claudia Stephan, Claudia Timmreck, Xiuhua Zhu, and Bjorn Stevens

Abstract

The representation of tropical precipitation is evaluated across three generations of models participating in phases 3, 5, and 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). Compared to state-of-the-art observations, improvements in tropical precipitation in the CMIP6 models are identified for some metrics, but we find no general improvement in tropical precipitation on different temporal and spatial scales. Our results indicate overall little changes across the CMIP phases for the summer monsoons, the double-ITCZ bias, and the diurnal cycle of tropical precipitation. We find a reduced amount of drizzle events in CMIP6, but tropical precipitation occurs still too frequently. Continuous improvements across the CMIP phases are identified for the number of consecutive dry days, for the representation of modes of variability, namely, the Madden–Julian oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation, and for the trends in dry months in the twentieth century. The observed positive trend in extreme wet months is, however, not captured by any of the CMIP phases, which simulate negative trends for extremely wet months in the twentieth century. The regional biases are larger than a climate change signal one hopes to use the models to identify. Given the pace of climate change as compared to the pace of model improvements to simulate tropical precipitation, we question the past strategy of the development of the present class of global climate models as the mainstay of the scientific response to climate change. We suggest the exploration of alternative approaches such as high-resolution storm-resolving models that can offer better prospects to inform us about how tropical precipitation might change with anthropogenic warming.

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