'Ocean upwelling: a tale of three regions' by Dr. Nicolas Gruber


Dr. Nicolas Gruber's short biography:

Dr. Nicolas Gruber (1968) holds a masters degree in environmental sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and received a Ph.D. from the University of Bern in 1997.
Subsequently he worked as a Visiting Research Scientist with the AOS program at the University of Princeton for three years. In 2000 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received tenure in 2005. In 2006 he returned to Switzerland to become Professor for Environmental Physics at ETH Zurich.
His main scientific research interests are the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon and other biologically essential elements and their interaction with the climate system. He combines the analysis of observations with modeling studies to better quantify, for example, the fate of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the Earth system, particularly the uptake by the ocean and land biosphere.
He authored together with Jorge Sarmiento the textbook “Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics” that has become a standard text in the field.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Marine Sciences, Dr. Gruber received the Rosenstiel Award from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Miami in 2004. In 2012 he was elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He is member of several international research boards. He serves also on the governing board of Climate-KIC, the largest European public-private partnership fostering innovation in the field of climate change.

Dr. Nicolas Gruber's personal homepage

Lecture's abstract - 'Ocean upwelling: a tale of three regions':

Without ocean upwelling bringing back the nutrients from the abyss, the continuous action of the biological pump would deplete the surface nutrients pool of the ocean within a few decades, with detrimental consequences for ocean productivity and ocean life.
Three oceanic regions are responsible for most of this upward return transport: The eastern boundary upwelling regions along the west coasts of the major continents, the equatorial belt and especially the tropical Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. Consequently, these regions belong to the most productive regions of the world's ocean, although iron limitation in the tropical Pacific, and light/iron co-limitation in the Southern Ocean prevent these regions to fully realize their productivity potential.
These upwelling regions are also key windows to the atmosphere for the vast carbon reservoir of the deep ocean, such that variations in the degree of upwelling can have large impacts on atmospheric CO2 and hence climate. But also the reverse is true: By bringing waters that have not been in contact with the atmosphere for decades or even centuries to the surface, these regions are actually among the most important regions for the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere.
All three regions are subject to substantial year to year and decadal variability in carbon cycling, suggesting that they might react quite sensitively to climate change. This lecture will introduce the basic concepts governing upwelling and then review the major challenges and highlights associated with upwelling regions and the ocean carbon cycle.

Recommended background publication on this presentation:

Landschützer, P., Gruber, N., Haumann, F. A., Rödenbeck, C., Bakker, D. C. E., van Heuven, S., … Yoo, C. (2015). The reinvigoration of the Southern Ocean carbon sink. Science (New York, N.Y.), 349 (6253), 1221–4. doi:10.1126/science.aab2620