- Journal Article
Summary: Data‐driven estimates of how much carbon dioxide the ocean is absorbing (the so‐called “ocean carbon sink”) have improved substantially in recent years. However, computational ocean models that include biogeochemistry continue to play a critical role as they allow us to isolate and understand the individual processes that control ocean carbon sequestration. The ideal scenario is a combination of the above two methods, where data are ingested and then used to improve a model's fit to the observed ocean, also known as, data assimilation. While the physical oceanographic community has made great progress in developing data assimilation systems, for example, the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) consortium, the biogeochemical community has generally lagged behind.
The ECCO‐Darwin model presented in this paper represents an important technological step forward as it is the first global ocean biogeochemistry model that (1) ingests both physical and biogeochemical observations into the model in a realistic manner and (2) considers how the nature of the ocean carbon sink has changed over multiple decades. As the ECCO ocean circulation estimates become more accurate and lengthen in time, ECCO‐Darwin will become an ever more accurate and useful tool for climate‐related ocean carbon cycle and mitigation studies.