Jacqueline Behncke

Department: The Ocean in the Earth System

Research groupObservations, Analysis and Synthesis

Email: jacqueline.behncke[at]mpimet.mpg.de

Room: B118


Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie

Bundesstr. 53

20146 Hamburg, Deutschland

Research Interest

I am a PhD candidate interested in the ocean carbon sink. Using machine learning (SOM-FFN), I want to quantify the added value and rate of improvement of underway pCO2 data from sailboats. I am working under the supervision of Peter Landschützer, Tatiana Ilyina and Jochem Marotzke.

The ocean regulates the climate by absorbing roughly 25 % of anthropogenic CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. In order to quantify the capacity of the ocean carbon sink from observations, measurements of the sea surface partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) are required. One database enabling the quantification of the ocean carbon sink is the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) by synthesizing the majority of all public CO2 data. In a next step, neural networks provide an opportunity to interpolate missing data in time and space creating homogeneous CO2 maps. However, uncertainties in these neural network interpolations are still substantial, particularly in less frequently monitored ocean regions such as the Southern Ocean. The increasing willingness among sailors to contribute to science by measuring the pCO2 during offshore sailing turns and racing events through the most remote ocean basins, provides an opportunity to fill these data gaps and reduce the reconstruction uncertainty. Since 2018, the collaboration with sailors participating in racing events led to the collection of a substantial amount of underway CO2 measurements (~300 000). In the data sparsest region, i.e. the Southern Ocean, measurements are usually limited to frequently used supply routes such as the Drake Passage.  During the Vendee Globe race, in contrast, the race yacht Malizia has collected pCO2 data while circumnavigating the entire Antarctic continent.
However, the added value and rate of improvement of underway pCO2 data from sailboats has never been quantified. In my PhD project, I aim to quantify the potential of sailboat measurements in reducing the Global Carbon Budget imbalance. Furthermore, I will combine high frequency measurements and the MPI modelling infrastructure, to understand the processes driving the observed change in the air-sea CO2 exchange.

Curriculum Vitae

since Apr 2022: PhD Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (GER). Quantifying the added value and rate of improvement of underway carbon dioxide data from sailboats.

Oct 2019 - Feb 2022: M.Sc. Marine Environmental Science, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg. Thesis: Effect of Light and Upwelling Intensity on the Phytoplankton Community Composition in the Peruvian Upwelling System.

  • Apr 2021 - Feb 2022: Research Assistant, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (GER). Work group Observations, Analysis and Synthesis: Analysis of sea surface carbon dioxide data collected by sailing yachts around the globe.

  • Feb 2020 - Apr 2020: Research Assistant, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Callao, (PER). Mesocosm study in the Humboldt Upwelling System (Research project CUSCO).

Oct 2016 - Sep 2019: B.Sc. Geoecology, Universität Potsdam. Thesis: Identification of biogeochemical processes in long-term monitoring data in coastal waters of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

  • Sep 2019 - Oct 2019: Student Assistant, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Gran Canaria. Mesocosm study on artificial upwelling in the Canary Current Upwelling System (Research project Ocean artUp).
  • Apr 2019 - May 2019: Internship, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, (GER): Implementation of an experiment to investigate the sensitivity of marine fluorescent dissolved organic matter to oxygen (research group: Microbial Biogeochemistry).