Figure 1 from the paper, showing a schematic of key processes controlling coastal carbon dynamics.
Schematic of key processes controlling coastal carbon dynamics that are now resolved and examined in the new global coastal model. Credit: Mathis et al. [2022], Figure 1
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

Marine biological production and associated carbon fluxes are typically largest in nutrient rich coastal areas, sustaining ocean ecosystem services and affected by environmental changes and direct anthropogenic perturbations that, in turn, impact society. Appropriately resolving these areas in Earth system models has been a notorious challenge because of small spatial scales compared to normal grid resolutions used for the global ocean.

Mathis et al. [2022] provide a new prototype of a high-resolution global coastal mesh embedded into a state-of-the-art Earth system model with a seamless description of physical and biogeochemical processes from the coast to the open ocean. The computational cost of this prototype is still substantial and does not yet allow simulations long enough for many scientific questions involving biogeochemistry, but first results described in this issue for a number of coastal regions are promising and should foster further scientific refinements and improvements in both natural process description and computational efficiency.

This paper shows that appropriately resolving coastal processes of immediate societal concern in global models is within reach. This is good news for impact studies that can help society to make decisions about mitigation and adaptation efforts consistent with the promised climate targets.

Citation: Mathis, M., Logemann, K., Maerz, J., Lacroix, F., Hagemann, S., Chegini, F., et al. (2022). Seamless integration of the coastal ocean in global marine carbon cycle modeling. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 14, e2021MS002789.

—Andreas Oschlies, Associate Editor, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

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