Miller, A. J., M. A. Alexander, G. J. Boer, F. Chai, K. Denman, D. J. Erickson, R. Frouin, A. J. Gabric,
E. A. Laws, M. R. Lewis, Z. Liu, R. Murtugudde, S. Nakamoto,
D. J. Neilson, J. R. Norris, J. C. Ohlmann, R. I. Perry,
N. Schneider, K. M. Shell, and
Potential feedbacks between Pacific Ocean ecosystems
and interdecadal climate variations
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 84, 617-633.
The mechanisms responsible for interdecadal climate
variations over the Pacific Ocean are unclear.
Many types of
feedbacks in the
physical ocean-atmosphere system have been proposed
to explain various aspects of these climate variations.
The potential influence of the oceanic ecosystem
on these climate variations has yet to be considered.
Mechanisms are described by which
the oceanic biological response to Pacific interdecadal
climate forcing may organize a potentially significant feedback to
the physical climate system.
The oceanic biological processes considered in
this paper appear to be able to sensitize
the coupled ocean-atmosphere climate system
through changes in upper-ocean absorption of radiation
due to phytoplankton and to changes in dimethylsulfide (DMS)
fluxes to atmospheric cloud systems.
The oceanic biology does not, however, appear to be able to introduce
an adequately long delay in the system to set a preferred timescale
in interdecadal climate variations.
Modeling and observational strategies
are outlined for future research that is needed
to resolve the many issues of biological-physical
feedbacks in interdecadal climate variations.
Much of the discussion applies to shorter (seasonal, interannual)
and longer (centennial) period climate variations as well.
Oceanic ecosystems altered by interdecadal climate variability may provide a
feedback to the physical climate by phytoplankton affecting heat fluxes
into the upper ocean and DMS fluxes into the atmosphere.
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