Effects of global warming on the world s oceans
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Effects of global warming on the world’s oceans. Ashley A. Emerson. Anthropogenic CO 2 in the Ocean. CO 2 solubility. Temperature: more soluble at lower temperatures. Salinity: more soluble in greater salinity. Pressure: more soluble under higher pressure.

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Anthropogenic co 2 in the ocean l.jpg
Anthropogenic CO2 in the Ocean


Co 2 solubility l.jpg
CO2 solubility

  • Temperature: more soluble at lower temperatures.

  • Salinity: more soluble in greater salinity.

  • Pressure: more soluble under higher pressure.


Carbon dioxide buffering in the ocean l.jpg
Carbon dioxide buffering in the Ocean

  • CO2 enters ocean via diffusion and rapidly converts to HCO3-

  • Reaction: CO2 + CO3 +H2O  2HCO3-

  • As CO2 in atmosphere rises the strength of ocean carbon uptake will weaken

  • Adding more carbon and keeping it as CO2 makes the ocean more acidic.


Dissolved inorganic carbon dic l.jpg
Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)

  • CO2 reacts to form other compounds of DIC.

  • If in acidic solution: carbon in CO2 form

  • If in basic solution: carbon mostly in carbonate form

  • Ocean pH ~8 = Carbonate form


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Ocean acidification

  • By end of century, it is predicted that oceans surface-water DIC could decrease over 12%

  • Carbonate ion concentration decrease almost 60%

  • This would result in a pH drop in surface waters of 0.4 pH units


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Calcium carbonate budget

Feely et al. 2004


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Impacts of anthropogenic CO2 on Calcium Carbonate

  • Aragonite and calcite undersaturation will occur at high latitudes when CO2 values reach 1200 and 1900 µatm

  • And at tropical/subtropical regions when CO2 values reach 1700 and 2800 µatm

  • Profound impacts on calcium carbonate shell-forming organisms


Alkalinity l.jpg
Alkalinity

  • Determines pH and balances among forms of DIC

  • The sum of cation charges minus the sum of anion charges

  • Seawater is always positive, excess pos. charge

  • This is balanced by carbonate system  electrical neutrality CO3HCO3- CO2


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Carbonate Pump

  • Organic productivity is also associated with calcium carbonate production.

  • CaCO3 precipitation decreases alkalinity by 2 units (via removal of double-charged Ca++) but the total CO2 by only one unit (removal of CO3-)

  • Due to dominance of alkalinity change, there is a net shift of carbon towards CO2

    CO3 -- HCO3- CO2

  • Formation of CaCO3 therefore increases surface water CO2


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Ocean and atmosphere in the North Atlantic

  • Contribution of biological pump to anthropogenic carbon fluxes is very small everywhere except in high latitudes

  • High latitudes biological pump’s contribution is ~20% of the solubility pump.

  • The rate limiting step of anthropogenic CO2 uptake is ocean circulation and mixing.


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Other Factors to consider

  • Model shows as anthropogenic CO2 increases there will be reduced uptake of CO2 by oceans.

  • Primarily as a result of weakening of collapse of thermohaline circulation

  • El Niño events may be occurring more often as a result of increase anthropogenic CO2


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