Marie-Christine Razaire is a junior at McGill University studying atmospheric
and oceanic sciences with a minor in economics. She studied this summer under
Professor Taka Ito and Dan Jones looking at the responses of the ocean carbon
cycle to climate change using an idealized model.
Atmospheric and ice core observations have shown that pCO2 levels have been
rising over the last two hundred years, while Southern Ocean wind stresses have
been increasing since the 1980s. Marie-Christine's research focused on
determining the oceanic response to rising pCO2 levels and increasing Southern
Ocean wind stress. She and her mentors created a six box ocean-atmosphere model
that incorporated the biogeochemical and physical processes as well as the air
sea gas exchange. They then ran two model simulations (their control used
current wind stress values while the second simulation doubled the wind stress
values), to examine the impact of increasing Southern ocean wind stress. They
then measured the ocean's response to this change in terms of carbon uptake,
anthropogenic CO2 inventory, and surface pH.
She found that air-sea carbon gas flux varied widely to compensate
for the increased wind stress, but there was globally little change in overall
uptake. While surface pH values didn't change, there was a general trend
towards increasing acidity. These findings can be used in the future to see if
they correlate with actual ocean responses.
Marie-Christine enjoys rowing, watching movies and making ice cream. Her
research interest is ocean-atmosphere coupling. Her research poster is here,
Examining the Responses of the Ocean Carbon Cycle to Climate Change using an
Idealized Model (1MB PDF).