28 Jun 2023
 | 28 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SP.

Modeling considerations for research on Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE)

Katja Fennel, Matthew C. Long, Christopher Algar, Brendan Carter, David Keller, Arnaud Laurent, Jann Paul Mattern, Ruth Musgrave, Andreas Oschlies, Josiane Ostiguy, Jamie Palter, and Daniel B. Whitt

Abstract. The deliberate increase of ocean alkalinity (referred to as Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement or OAE) has been proposed as a method for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Before OAE can be implemented safely, efficiently, and at scale several research questions have to be addressed including: 1) which alkaline feedstocks are best suited and in what doses can they be added safely, 2) how can net carbon uptake be measured and verified, and 3) what are the potential ecosystem impacts. These research questions cannot be addressed by direct observation alone but will require skillful and fit-for-purpose models. This chapter provides an overview of the most relevant modeling tools, including turbulence-, regional- and global-scale biogeochemical models, and techniques including approaches for model validation, data assimilation, and uncertainty estimation. Typical biogeochemical model assumptions and their limitations are discussed in the context of OAE research, which leads to an identification of further development needs to make models more applicable to OAE research questions. A description of typical steps in model validation is followed by proposed minimum criteria for what constitutes a model that is fit for its intended purpose. After providing an overview of approaches for sound integration of models and observations via data assimilation, the application of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) for observing system design is described within the context of OAE research. Criteria for model validation and intercomparison studies are presented. The article concludes with a summary of recommendations and potential pitfalls to be avoided.

Katja Fennel et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on sp-2023-10', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Aug 2023
  • CC1: 'Comment on sp-2023-10', Veronica Tamsitt, 22 Aug 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Katja Fennel, 22 Aug 2023
      • CC2: 'Reply on AC1', Veronica Tamsitt, 23 Aug 2023
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Sep 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on sp-2023-10', Steve Rackley, 17 Sep 2023

Katja Fennel et al.

Katja Fennel et al.


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Short summary
This chapter describes biogeochemical models and modeling techniques for applications related to Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE) research. Many of the most pressing OAE-related research questions cannot be addressed by observation along and will require a combination of skillful models and observations. We present illustrative examples with references to further information, describe limitations, caveats, and future research needs, and provide practical recommendations.