What sea-ice biogeochemical modellers need from observers
Steiner, N and Deal, C and Lannuzel, D and Lavoie, D and Massonnet, F and Miller, LA and Moreau, S and Popova, E and Stefels, J and Tedesco, L, What sea-ice biogeochemical modellers need from observers, Elementa, 4 Article 000084. ISSN 2325-1026 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Numerical models can be a powerful tool helping to understand the role biogeochemical processes play in local and global systems and how this role may be altered in a changing climate. With respect to sea-ice biogeochemical models, our knowledge is severely limited by our poor confidence in numerical model parameterisations representing those processes. Improving model parameterisations requires communication between observers and modellers to guide model development and improve the acquisition and presentation of observations. In addition to more observations, modellers need conceptual and quantitative descriptions of the processes controlling, for example: primary production and diversity of algal functional types in sea ice, ice algal growth, release from sea ice, heterotrophic remineralisation, transfer and emission of gases (e.g., DMS, CH4, BrO), incorporation of seawater components in growing sea ice (including Fe, organic and inorganic carbon, and major salts) and subsequent release; CO2 dynamics (including CaCO3 precipitation), flushing and supply of nutrients to sea-ice ecosystems; and radiative transfer through sea ice. These issues can be addressed by focused observations, as well as controlled laboratory and field experiments that target specific processes. The guidelines provided here should help modellers and observers improve the integration of measurements and modelling efforts and advance toward the common goal of understanding biogeochemical processes in sea ice and their current and future impacts on environmental systems.