Table_1_Particle Flux Parameterizations: Quantitative and Mechanistic Similarities and Differences.XLSX
The depth-attenuation of sinking particulate organic carbon (POC) is of particular importance for the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle. Numerous idealized flux-vs.-depth relationships are available to parameterize this process in Earth System Models. Here we show that these relationships are statistically indistinguishable from available POC flux profile data. Despite their quantitative similarity, we also show these relationships have very different implications for the flux leaving the upper ocean, as well as for the mechanisms governing POC flux. We discuss how this tension might be addressed both observationally and in modeling studies.