Modeling the Seasonality and Controls of Nitrous Oxide Emissions on the Northwest European Continental Shelf

Lessin, G; Polimene, L; Artioli, Y; Butenschon, M; Clark, DR; Brown, IJ; Rees, AP. 2020 Modeling the Seasonality and Controls of Nitrous Oxide Emissions on the Northwest European Continental Shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 125 (6). https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JG005613

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019JG005613

Abstract/Summary

Estimates of oceanic emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) are surrounded by a considerable degree of uncertainty, particularly regarding the contribution of productive shelf regions, where assessments are based on limited observations. In this paper, we have applied a coupled hydrodynamic‐biogeochemical model resolving N2O dynamics to estimate N2O emissions within the northwest European continental shelf. Based on 10‐year average distributions (2006–2015), dominant seasonal patterns of N2O air‐sea exchange were identified. Within the southwest region of the shelf and deep parts of the North Sea, emissions are highest during winter. Peak emissions during late autumn are typical for the northwest part of the shelf and central North Sea, while in the western English Channel, Irish Sea and western North Sea peak outflux shifts toward early autumn. Within these regions, most N2O production occurs below the seasonal pycnocline, and duration and intensity of stratification defines the timing and rate of its subsequent release to the atmosphere. In contrast, within the southeast North Sea and most of the coastal areas, lack of stratification allows the excess N2O to outgas as soon as it is produced, driven by ammonium availability, resulting in peak emissions in summer. We estimate that N2O emissions from the northwest European shelf contribute 0.02224 Tg N to the atmosphere annually, that is, between 3.3–6.8% of total emissions from European shelves and estuaries.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: nitrous oxide, ERSEM, continental shelf, air‐sea exchange greenhouse gases biogeochemical modeling
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Long-term Multi-Centre UKESM
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Single Centre NC - CLASS
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecosystem Models and Predictions
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 08 Jun 2020 14:29
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 14:29
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/8963

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