Shelf sea processes mediating land-ocean carbon fluxes: an invited contribution to EGU18

Corinna Schrum, researcher at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and ESM project partner, has been invited to present hers and colleagues’ research at the upcoming EGU General Assembly 2018 in Vienna next week (8-13 April 2018). In her solicited talk she will explain how shelf and coastal processes mediate fluxes of matter from land to ocean, and govern carbon turnover and buffering.

In occasion of this important contribution, we asked Corinna to give us a sprinkle of her upcoming presentation (full abstract here).

What is the main challenge in estimating the contribution of carbon and nutrient fluxes in coastal areas in global budgets?

Global models currently lack processes relevant for carbon and nutrient turnover in coastal seas, and land-ocean coupling is still mostly static. 

How can energy and matter transformation processes in shelf seas better represented in Earth system models?

Increased spatial resolution and improved coastal process consideration is required to characterise these processes and help up understand the role of energy and matter changes in the Earth system. 

What changes should we expect in carbon and nutrient fluxes in coastal areas in the future?

Model results so far suggest that fluxes of carbon and nutrient towards the shelf  will decrease in most areas due to increase in  ocean stratification. On the other hand increased temperature will increase carbon turnover near the coast. However, substantial uncertainties exist in global biogeochemical models, specifically related to coastal processes and land to sea carbon fluxes and the projections are still speculative for coastal transitions. 

Corinna’s research interest is mainly related to coastal system dynamics and the climate and anthropogenic induced changes and variability of coastal systems. She has a background in physical oceanography, but got interested in cross compartment fluxes and coupling. She worked for many years on modelling regional coupled systems and model development (atmosphere-ocean coupling, physical-biological coupling, physical-biogeochemical-chemical coupled systems).

Within the ESM project Corinna leads Task 1.2: Enhanced Earth system compartments—Ocean-cryosphere-biosphere systems and Task 3.4: Cross-compartmental matter cycling: From land to sea, while also contributing as core team member to several other tasks and serving as member of the project’s Steering Group.

Don’t miss Corinna’s talk at EGU18 on Wednesday, 11 Apr 2018 at 14:30 in Room 2.31 within the session BG4.11 Carbon Cascades from Land to Ocean in the Anthropocene: Processes, Budgets, Variability, and Trends.