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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 262:1-17 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps262001

Modeling of climate forcing on a cold-ocean ecosystem, Conception Bay, Newfoundland

Ru Cheng Tian1,2,*, Don Deibel1, Raymond J. Thompson1, Richard B. Rivkin1

1Ocean Science Center, Memorial University, St. John¹s, Newfoundland A1C 5S7, Canada
2Present address: Harvard University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

ABSTRACT: Climate forcing of marine ecosystems has been the subject of increased research over the last few decades. We have developed a prognostic, 1-dimensional (1D) physical-biological model to study climate forcing of cold-ocean ecosystems. The physical model is based on the Mellor-Yamada level 2.5 turbulence closure scheme and is explicitly driven by meteorological data. The biological model consists of 10 state variables which include the mesoplankton and the microbial food webs. The model was applied to Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Canada with meteorological, physical and biological data collected from 1986 to 1990. Our model revealed a strong correlation between the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) index and biological production. The microbial food web (e.g. small phytoplankton, microzooplankton and bacteria) is more sensitive to climate variability than is the mesoplankton food web (e.g. large phytoplankton and mesozooplankton). Buoyancy flux-driven convective mixing, temperature and solar radiation are the major factors through which climate variability affects the function of cold-ocean ecosystems.

KEY WORDS: Climate forcing · Vertical mixing · Phytoplankton bloom · Simulation model

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